From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has created a card with safety tips designed to help citizens prevent becoming the victim of a robbery.
The card encourages residents to always be aware of their surroundings and to pay attention to activity happening around them. Avoiding distractions from electronic devices is particularly important.
Trying to multi-task while walking can lead to victimization— MPD stresses it is best to walk with a purpose and with confidence and not try to text, take phone calls, listen to music, or check email while walking. Many of the recent robberies in Borderstan involved the snatching of iPhones from distracted victims. If possible, do not walk alone and only walk through well-lit and well-traveled areas.
MPD also recommends only using ATMs in well-populated areas when it is light outside. Do not display large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry or electronic items.
To prevent pickpocketing, men should avoid carrying their wallet in a back pocket and instead carry it in a front pocket or an inside jacket pocket. Women are encouraged to carry a small purse that can held in their hand.
MPD also announced on Monday that citywide crime data updated daily would now be available on the Statistics and Data page. The DC Police Crime Mapping application remains down as MPD continues to work on integrating the new records management system with the mapping software.
While data for just the Borderstan area remain unavailable, citywide data suggest that robbery numbers for the year are almost identical to 2011. Violent crime is up 3 percent on the year, because of increases in aggravated assaults and sex abuse incidents. Total property crime is up 4 percent citywide, driven by increases in thefts.