Although there are no guaranteed ways of preventing crime completely, the following are 11 simple things that students, staff, and faculty can do on the Old Westbury campus that may deter property and violent crime.
1. Lock your doors.
Residence Hall room doors, office doors, and especially car doors. Most property crimes are crimes of opportunity. Take away the opportunity -- lower the chances of being the victim of a property crime.
2. List serial numbers/mark property.
You should keep a list of all serial numbers of all valuables (especially stereos, computers) in a safe place. Property without serial numbers should have a unique number or signature inscribed in an inconspicuous location. For example, you may want to pick a page of all your text books, say page number 68 and sign your name inside all of your books. Participation in the Operation I.D. program (a program that marks valuable and vulnerable items so that they can be identified as belonging to a specific student) enables law enforcement agencies nationwide to trace your property back to its legitimate owner in the event it is ever lost or stolen. This marking of property with a unique identifier along with recorded serial numbers aids in the recovery of property and the prosecution of the offenders. Please see the “Services” section for detailed information about Operation I.D.
3. Report promptly.
If you believe an item is stolen, report it to University Police immediately. There is a direct, inverse correlation between the time lapse in reporting a crime and the ability of the police to solve a crime. Reporting quickly gives you the best chance of having your property recovered.
4. Be cognizant of your surroundings.
Take mental notes. Know the location of building exits and emergency phones before you need them. Be aware of what is going on around you and report suspicious activity to the University Police immediately. If you are not sure, make the call anyway.
5. Don't talk to strangers.
Often this grade school advice is forgotten on a college campus.
6. Be a keen observer.
This takes practice, but will be worth the effort. Physical descriptors (height, weight, skin complexion, facial hair, etc.) as well clothing descriptions, vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers are invaluable to the University Police when incidents occur.
7. Stay in groups.
Walk out to the parking lots in groups. Or if you must walk alone, call the University Police for an escort if you feel uncomfortable.
8. Stay in public places.
Don't walk empty paths alone or stay late in a classroom or office after hours. If you must do so, call University Police to let us know.
9. Protect yourself.
Have your car keys in your hand before leaving the building so that you will not have to fumble for them in the parking lot. Carry a whistle key chain that can serve as a warning call if a suspicious situation arises. Always have a small flashlight handy.
10. Protect others.
Keep a watchful eye out for our students, staff, and faculty, and their respective personal property. Only with the cooperation of the entire campus community can crime be truly prevented to the fullest extent.
11. Leave a light and a radio or television on when you are going to be away for an extended period.
Purchasing an inexpensive timer will allow you to make your residence appear occupied, even when it isn't, which will discourage most burglars.