Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention Urges Marylanders to Pay Attention to Surroundings
The upside to the end of Daylight Saving Time is an extra hour of sleep. The downside means longer nighttime darkness when criminals are more likely to prey on victims since daylight often lessens violent crimes. As Standard Time replaces Daylight Saving Time this weekend, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention has produced a list of safety tips to help keep Marylanders safe as darkness comes earlier in the day.
“Research shows a statistically significant correlation between an increase in crime when the time changes along with higher rates of aggression, “said V. Glenn Fueston, Jr., GOCCP Executive Director. “In particular, the time shift results in earlier and longer periods of darkness which can lead to more street crimes such as burglary, thefts, and rapes. Between the hours of 5-7 p.m., most people are leaving work or school and walking to their homes, cars, or buses. The cloak of darkness is an opportune time for criminals who can get away quickly, leaving their victims unable to identify them. The best advice is to be aware.”
Tips to keep you safe:
- Walk with confidence and purpose.
- Stay alert and listen to your surroundings; the more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.
- Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and poorly lit areas.
- Trust your instincts about a person or an area. If you are unsure or feel unsafe, leave immediately.
- If you feel you are being followed, change course and head for a store, lighted house, or a well-lit area.
- Avoid distracted walking. Keep your eyes on what’s ahead and away from your electronic devices.
- Avoid noise-cancelling headphones to ensure you are aware of your surroundings.
- Travel with a friend if you can and walk to vehicles in groups or pairs.
- Make sure your keys are readily accessible when approaching your vehicle and always check the backseat before getting in.
- Carry a small flashlight and whistle to make yourself visible and heard if necessary.
- Consider downloading a safety app for your phone that sends your whereabouts to trusted friends and family if you are in trouble.
- Call police immediately if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anything out of the ordinary.