Safety on the Streets
By. Michael Bishop
The safety and security of the residents and visitors to Norristown is the number one priority for the Norristown Police Department. With a focus on violence, especially crimes committed with guns, our sworn officers and detectives aggressively investigate any reports of violence or criminal activity that may create a safety concern for any person. We are asking the community to “Say something if you see something,” as we cannot be everywhere at the same time. Call 911 if you see a crime in progress or call our anonymous tip line if you want to report illegal or suspicious activity.
In this article, we would like to provide some simple tips to keep yourself and your property and possessions safe regardless of where you live or work. If you own a car, do not leave it unattended and running. The action of leaving it unattended is an opportunity for someone to come along and take your car without permission. An unlocked car is also an opportunity for a thief. Never leave your car unlocked or leave anything of value in plain sight. Try to find a well-lit area to park, or a busier section of the street to dissuade any persons that may want to break into your vehicle.
If you do a lot of walking, try to walk with a friend since there is safety in numbers. Stay on the well-lit streets at night and avoid alleys if you can. If you carry a pocketbook or backpack keep them close to your body and put the strap over your shoulder for extra protection. If you carry a wallet, consider carrying it in a front pocket. Do not ever carry or display large amounts of cash on your person.
Remember to lock the doors and windows at your house or apartment. Keep items of value such as bikes and lawn equipment under lock and key. Install motion activated lights outside your house to turn away those that would do you wrong. Additionally, at night, leave a light on in the main and back entrance.
If someone does try to commit a crime such as a robbery and a weapon is seen, do not fight back. Try to get the best description of the person (age, sex, height, weight, clothing color, and direction of travel) that is committing the crime and call the Police immediately. The sooner we are aware of a crime, the better the chance of catching the person responsible and preventing further violence. The same procedure applies if you witness a crime, stay there, help the victim and tell the Police everything you saw. If something happened to you or a loved one wouldn’t you want people to help?
If you are a business owner, keep your windows clear of excessive posters, and signs; practice good cash control; don’t have anyone work alone during high-risk opening or overnight hours; and, keep an eye out of suspicious behavior. At night, before closing, be sure to check the entire store for anyone hiding; keep a well-light entrance; and check your alarms and camera systems to ensure they are working properly.
For anonymous reports, please use our Crime Tip Line and let us help you. Call us at 610-278- 8477 or send us an email at NPDTips@norristown.org
L. Michael Bishop