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Criminals can read your body language, especially if they’re focusing on you as a target in their commission of a crime.
If you appear to be distracted or unaware of your environment while you’re out shopping, driving, walking, or doing anything else out in the community, you could possibly be setting yourself up for an unwanted encounter.
We can avoid these encounters by developing “situational awareness”. Situational awareness is when we focus on what’s going on around us. For example, when we walk by someone, look directly at them instead of looking beyond them or down on the ground. Walk tall, carry yourself well, and walk with confidence. Keep a hand free when carrying shopping bags or even groceries. Look around your vehicle if you’re approaching your parked car. Carry your car keys in a way that can be used to quickly unlock your door. Develop your ability to notice your gut feelings and listen to that still small voice for what it’s telling you as your warning signal. We all have an intuitive sense around us.
As a practice tool, think about this scenario:
You’re walking across a parking lot with packages in your hand. As you’re approaching your car, you notice several men standing very close to your vehicle AND watching you approach.
Will you continue to walk to your car, or will you turn around and walk the other way to seek help?
P.S: Turn around, walk away, find a public place, and make a call to the Police Department.
Using situational awareness can help you stay safe, and it may also help others along the way.
From the desk of Jane Constant
Senior Relations Specialist
Nashua Police Department
Posted on: July 01, 2017