It’s that time of year again – the holiday season. In many communities the holidays also come with increases in crime. Simply put, during this season there are more opportunities for crime, particularly thefts of items left in vehicles and package deliveries left in open garages or other areas, as well as crime in crowded places, where pick-pocketing is less noticeable. There are also gun crimes that can occur around the holiday seasons, where lot of people gather. Something that can prevent crimes could be something like a gun detection System which can locate weapons and advise the police immediately.
During the holiday season, the Rome Police Department wants to help citizens to have a safe, happy, and peaceful season. We urge everyone to take a few steps to avoid theft and other holiday crime. We can never be too careful, too prepared, or too aware.
Here are some tips on how to celebrate safely this holiday season:
- Sign up for alerts at CrimeMapping.com. The Rome Police Department releases data daily to this interactive website that allows citizens to see where crime is happening. Use the ‘Receive Alerts’ feature in the upper right hand corner of the site to sign up for daily email updates about crime in the locations that matter to you. Watch for trends in your neighborhood or workplace.
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. Avoid carrying more cash or credit cards than needed and keep cash in your front pocket. Don’t leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car or carry more than a few items at a time. Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Criminals can try various methods of distracting you to take money or belongings.
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows, even if leaving the house for just a few minutes. Make sure a neighbor or family member keeps an eye on your home while you’re gone, picking up newspapers and mail. Get an automatic timer for your lights. Don’t display gifts where they can be seen from the outside of your home.
- Don’t place discarded boxes on the curbside for pickup that identifies that brand new gift you just received. That lets everyone know what you have inside.
- Take extra caution when answering your door. It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door. Ask for identification and only donate to a recognized charitable organization.
- Don’t be afraid to report suspicious activity. Know who is in your neighborhood.
- Celebrate responsibly. Never drink and drive. Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages. If you’re hosting a party, make sure your guests have non-alcoholic options and safe transportation home.