Staying safe starts by learning and getting safety tips from the experts on crime prevention.
That’s precisely what about 20 women did at the April 6 Women’s Self-Defense and Personal Safety Workshop with retired Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Denise Nestor. It was hosted at St. Petersburg College’s Allstate Center.
Defending yourself starts with understanding what experts call the crime prevention triangle, Nestor told her audience.
The crime prevention triangle holds that there are three things that decide whether a criminal commits a crime. The first is the criminal’s desire to commit a crime. The second part of the triangle is the criminal’s ability to commit a crime. These are beyond your control. The remaining part of the crime prevention triangle is the opportunity to commit a crime. It is often possible to deny a criminal the chance to commit a crime.
Crime prevention can be as simple as paying attention, Nestor said.
- Stay alert, and move purposefully.
- Trust your instincts. If something seems weird, or wrong, there is a good reason to be concerned.
- Avoid walking alone, especially on dark streets and out of the way places.
Nestor spoke to the women about staying safe when getting into their vehicles.
- Don’t wait until you get to the car to take out your keys. Have your keys out and ready to use when you get to the car.
- If there is someone hanging out near your car and you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts. Keep walking, and get help before returning to your car.
- Check under the car, the back seat and floors before getting in. Be absolutely sure that no one is hiding inside your vehicle.
- Once inside, lock your doors.
- Keep your windows up far enough to prevent someone from grabbing you.
SPC Allstate Center
The college’s Allstate Center in south St. Petersburg is home to the college’s public safety training programs in addition to being a full-service campus. These programs include training academies, grant-funded training for public safety professionals and academic programs.