The holidays are a time for sharing meaningful moments with those who matter most. However, there’s a dark side to the festive season. A lot of money is spent during the holidays, no doubt the ideal scenario for any enterprising criminal. With a few carefully thought-out contingencies, you can do your part to avoid becoming another statistic. Crime takes no vacation, and neither should you.
Don’t be a Mark
Law enforcement will tell you that December can be dicey for anyone not paying attention. Criminals take advantage of law-abiding citizens who are preoccupied with the stressors that Christmas brings. In the adult world, asking what factors led to an occurrence provides intelligence and assists one in navigating through potentially threatening circumstances.
There is no foolproof plan to avoid victimization, but a little situational awareness goes a long way. We are far better suited to avoid imminent threats when we know what’s happening around us.
Crime Prevention: Simple is Better
Christmas is a time of year when threats can come at you seemingly out of nowhere. Embed this train of thought in family members. You don’t have to be Ebenezer Scrooge and destroy the Christmas spirit; you simply need to convey that certain people look at the holidays as a time to take advantage of others for personal gain.
Most crimes are avoidable if we are on alert and in the moment. Distraction is the kiss of death.
Some Tips to Make it Through [The Holidays]
Keep very little cash on you and avoid transitional spaces whenever possible. A transitional space is an unavoidable danger zone. These areas are uncontrolled spaces all of us are forced to use at varying times throughout the day. Since they are unavoidable, have a plan before you frequent them. Where are the exits in this place? What do I do if something bad happens here?
Some of the more common transitional spaces include gas stations, ATM machines, parking lots, elevators, liquor stores, etc. Be on heightened alert when in any one of these locales, and above all, put your damn phone away. The chronic obsession with cell phones is music to the criminal’s ears. Half your troubles are eliminated the moment you put your phone away.
Remember, these individuals make a concerted effort to take what’s not theirs. You have to be on heightened alert because such individuals look for any advantage.
Never leave your car unlocked. Even if it’s while pumping gas a few feet away. Criminals are good at what they do, so do your part to make them work as hard as possible to meet their goals.
Don’t leave valuables in your car; simple I know but you’d be amazed at the number of people who make this avoidable blunder.
Don’t be flashy. Unassuming attire and blending in is the name of the game. Those who peacock and attract attention to themselves are far more likely to get gobbled. The same principle applies in the wild. At the end of the day, we are animals, and just as in nature, flying under the radar of potential predators leads to a longer lifespan.
A few more simple anecdotes include parking as close as possible to a store you plan on visiting, avoiding shopping at night, and traveling in numbers. Again, you’d be amazed at how simple practices like these can keep harm at bay.
Crime + Punishment
Part of adulthood is recognizing that the world isn’t all koombaya.
There is a dark side to humanity where individuals willfully choose to inflict harm on others for personal gain. Spend time with law enforcement and they’ll concur that the world breaks down into two basic categories; those who follow the law, and those who break it. The rest is posturing.
Humans can be tremendously gentile. However, they can be equally malicious. Owning this and docking part of your worldview to it can help in the long run. Regardless of nomenclature, life at its core is about survival. Anything you employ to lengthen your lifespan should be met with appreciation. Individuals tend to overcomplicate. On a primal level, if you’re staying alive, you’re doing something right.
You can embrace the holiday cheer and be situationally aware. The two aren’t binary. Understanding that an imminent threat is always potentially an arm’s length away hurts nobody. Quite the contrary. Situational awareness in all contexts can only be good.
Happy Holidays. Stay Alert, Stay Alive
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