Crime is on the rise and if you live in the Temple University area of Philadelphia, you know this to be true. Just turn on the news and you’ll see a number of stories that are taking place right now. In recent incidents, three students at Temple University were robbed overnight, among other several incidents, and crime is on the rise on this campus. The problem with these crimes is that these were male students who were being robbed, so the assailants are brazen. Victims had cash and cell phones stolen from them. All of these incidents took place at gunpoint.
Police are trying to make a strong presence in the area. Based on statistics from phillypolice.com, crimes that took place in and around the Philadelphia area for two weeks in May included:
- Aggravated Assaults Week 19: 65, Week 20: 39
- Aggravated Assaults With a Gun Week 19: 65, Week 20:39
- Total Violent Crime Offenses Week 19: 350, Week 20:298
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
While these incidents were isolated, you still have to take precautions to protect yourself.
Safety at night going to & from class or work
- Don’t travel alone at night in unlit areas.
- Be prepared and stay alert. That means, don’t talk loudly on your cell or wear headphones out at night as you may not be paying attention to your surroundings.
- If you want to run, jog or bike, do it in the morning and preferably at a gym or public location where you can be seen by other people.
- If you see groups of men approaching, cross the street and move to the other side.
- Don’t flash your phone or cash.
Safety in your dorm room, apartment or house
- Don’t open the front door just because someone knocks. Don’t assume it’s another student. Also, if someone says delivery, confirm that a roommate did place an order and turn a porch light on.
- Check through windows and peep holes first to verify who is at the door.
- Consider purchasing cameras to install outside of your dorm building.
- If you have thick bushes that are right by your front door, you may want to have them cut down.
Safety around others
- Ensure you are walking with students. In a few of the incidents, the assailants were in their early twenties and dressed casually.
- Alter your pattern of travel. Sometimes people who tend to leave early and come in late the same time everyday display a pattern and other people can track you.
What To Do If You Are Approached
- If someone asks you for your belongings and presents a gun, just hand over what you have and let the police deal with it. Try to get a good description for the police. You can’t just say, “He had on a gray sweatshirt.” You have to note, “He was about 6′, big build, someone called him Mike and he had a tattoo on his neck.” Go here for tips about giving good description tips.
- Be prepared, stay calm and don’t overreact or panic. Remember, they want you to be shocked and afraid. Make sure you focus and get a good description.
- Remember, you can always track your phone through different apps. Your safety and health are more important than trying to fight with someone over what could cost you your life.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If the area has a camera, like outside of a store, bank or ATM, the camera may pick up the person’s face on it.