Crime prevention all comes down to minimizing opportunities to victimize you, minimizing reasons to target you, and convincing the SOBs that you and your stuff will be more trouble than it’s worth, so he’ll move on to the next poor schlep.
Don’t give ’em a chance!
You can’t have a crime without an opportunity, and perception is reality. So make yourself, your property, and your information hard to detect, hard to access, or at least appear that way. If Johnny Scumbag doesn’t know an opportunity exists, or it looks like too much trouble, then he will move on to an easier mark. As a general rule, bad guys are lazy or crazy. The lazy ones aren’t gonna spend much effort trying to see past barriers or facades, and what the crazy ones see is beyond your influence. Even if they detect an opportunity, you can still prevent the crime, by advertising the consequences.
Make ’em pay!
In terms of prevention, the goal is to make the SOB think that they’ll get hurt, caught, or otherwise pay too high a cost to bother messing with you or your stuff.
We all want money, and you can rob a bank with a post-it note saying you’ll sneeze if they don’t empty the vault into your pockets, but most would never dream of doing that because we’re all convinced that we’re sure to get caught and spend decades in prison for it.
So, advertise that you’re no two-bit mark. Mark your stuff conspicuously, wear clothes advertising your favorite martial art or gun manufacturer, and make at least 3 long seconds of eye contact with everyone that gets within 15 feet of you, so they know you’re gonna be trouble, if they’re dumb enough to mess with you or your stuff. Of course, sometimes the threat comes from within, where they know all of your tricks & habits. That’s where motivation comes into play.
Play hunger games
If you do what you can to help those around you succeed, and treat everyone you encounter with respect, you will minimize the motivation of those around you to resort to crime, or at least to target you if they do resort to crime. If you don’t take an interest in the well being of others in your sphere of influence, and you’re a jerk to those you meet, you may be sowing the seeds for crime, and putting your name at the top of their guilt-free hit list. Not that being a jerk justifies the crime, but it sure makes them feel better about it!
Speaking of feelings, whether you think you know somebody or not, you should listen to your gut. If you get a bad feeling about someone, chances are that you’re picking up on something about their body language on a subconscious level, which is telling you that they are motivated to do somebody wrong.
These days, the trick is to cut through all the kumbaya political correctness crap that clouds your judgement. You didn’t choose to be uneasy with whatever they’re doing, and you didn’t decypher those signals with your Big Billy Bigot decoder ring either, so don’t feel guilty about it. If you ignore the warnings of your instincts, then you’ll be a sitting duck, but if you acknowledge the possible threat, then you can work on reducing opportunities for them to victimize you, or building up the apparent consequences for doing it. Just remember to be respectful until and unless they actually do something, so you don’t needlessly add yourself to everyone’s jerk list, in case you’re wrong about their intentions.
These are just some quick and dirty primer ideas on the topic. What have you noticed that seems common among crime victims, or those who avoid victimization? Have some ideas you’d like feedback on? Leave a comment below.