Any person… even you… can become a victim of crime at any time. A criminal may still target you even if you’ve take every step possible to prevent and protect yourself. Take a moment and ask yourself a few questions: If you were to be involved in a hit and run accident, what would you do? If you came home and noticed the front door was open or a window was broken, how would you react? If you were assaulted outside of your home, do you know where you would go? In other words- do you know exactly what to do if you become the victim of a crime?
Here are a couple of pointers:
- Medical attention. Following a violent crime, one of the most important things to do in addition to alerting the authorities is getting yourself checked out by appropriate medical personnel. Even if you believe you are fine, it is always a good idea to be looked at by a trained professional. You may still be in shock and not aware enough to fully grasp what has happened to you, and how much damage your body may have sustained. You may want to consider counseling or therapy. People are often affected mentally and emotionally just as much, if not more, than they are physically after being victimized.
- 911. The single most important number for any victim of a crime to use. Whether you have been assaulted, robbed or involved in an accident in which the person who caused the collision has fled the scene, the first number to call is always 911. Remain calm as the emergency operator asks what has happened, and give as many details as possible. Depending on the circumstances, they will immediately dispatch police officers, fire personnel or other emergency services to your location.
- Contact local law enforcement. If you are the victim of a crime you should contact law enforcement as soon as possible to report the crime. When reporting the crime you should be as detailed as possible when given descriptions of suspects, vehicles, or any property taken during the crime. The more details you can provide the better chance of solving the crime there is.
- Property Crime. Ideally you should keep a list of all your valuables along with serial numbers and photos of each item in the event they are stolen. This list should be provided to law enforcement to assist in positively identifying your property should it be recovered. If your credit/bank cards are stolen you should contact your banks as soon as possible to cancel the cards. You should contact all 3 credit bureaus and have fraud alert protection placed on them to help protect against identity theft. If your credit/bank cards are used by someone you should obtain the location it was used the date and time and the amount of the purchase. Provide this information to the police, It may help identify a suspect through the use of surveillance video from the location it was used.
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