When many people think about security, they often think about protecting property such as their homes and businesses from crime. Keeping your home or office safe and keeping criminals away are certainly important and strategies for accomplishing these goals must certainly receive a great deal of attention. However, it’s also important to think about protecting yourself and protecting property when you are outside in a public place.

Recent news stories show how important protecting property in public really is. Recently three separate swarmings¬†in Toronto led to police asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects. In the swarmings, victims reported that they were surrounded by a number of people who threatened and robbed them. In one swarming four men wearing disguises approached a 19-year-old male. Two of the criminals grabbed the victim’s arms while the other two stole his backpack, glasses and other items in his pockets. In another case, a 21-year-old man was reportedly approached by two men wearing disguises and a third holding a handgun. They threatened him and forced him to give them his cell phone and his cash. In a third reported swarming, a 22-year-old male was surrounded by three men. They shoved and kicked him before leaving the scene with his cell phone.

Several unrelated street robberies took place in Toronto recently. A 17-year-old male was arrested after he robbed several victims. The accused would approach victims with a weapon and demand that they hand over their valuables.

Protecting Property: Tips to Keep you Safe

Cellular phones, personal music players, portable computers as well as purses, wallets and handbags are frequently targeted by thieves. These items are small enough that they can be carried easily, but they also are usually high in value. It is important that you protect yourself from thieves and criminals while you are outside in public. This is about your own safety, not just protecting property.

A key to keeping yourself safe and protecting property is to not look like a vulnerable target. Do not carry more with you than you need to. Large bags, backpacks and purses can make you a target as criminals assume that you are carrying a number of valuable items. If you carry a purse or bag, make sure that you keep it close to your body on a short strap. Avoid having your bag hang far away from your body where it will be visible.

In the same sense, do not flash valuables such as jewelry, cash or electronics around. These items are popular with thieves as they are small enough to carry easily. This is a key to protecting property. Keep your cellular phone or personal music player in your pocket and do not take it out unless it is necessary.

Avoid walking through isolated areas whenever possible. Criminals are much less likely to strike in a heavily populated area where they will be spotted and possibly caught. If you must walk through a more deserted area, be aware of your surroundings at all times. this will help with protecting property. Do not wear headphones or other devices that will make it difficult for you to hear what is going on around you. Walk with a sense of purpose and keep your head up and shoulders back. Walk at a good pace – not too slowly but not too quickly either. Your body language will convey a sense of confidence. Watch out for other people, especially groups of people and try to leave the deserted area as quickly as possible.