Safety Tips For Citizens
The St. Charles Police Department works to protect St. Charles citizens and businesses from crime, but nothing promotes a crime-free environment as well as an active and aware public. The following are some tips that may help you prevent crime. But remember: the most important single act you can do is to call the Police to report crimes or suspicious activities! When law enforcement is unaware of problems, they cannot resolve them.
Although most of these tips are for homeowners, businesses can also play a significant part in the anti-crime effort. Adapt these suggestions for your business. Your customers and employees will benefit.
Protect Your Home & Neighborhood
- Adequately secure all windows with secondary locking devices.
- Be neighborly, but be suspicious of strangers in the area.
- Call the police to report all crimes and suspicious activity.
- Do not advertise that you are away from home.
- Install good deadbolt locks and use them.
- Leave exterior lights on all night.
- Lock garage doors and windows.
- Mark your property with your Permanent Missouri Driver License.
- Organize into a Neighborhood Watch Program. Call 636-949-3541 for information.
- Record serial numbers and maintain a record of your property in a safe place, other than your home.
- Use timers to turn lights on and off in a normal schedule when away from home.
- Carry your purse firmly and close to your body.
- Do not accept rides from strangers.
- Do not hitchhike. Do not pick up hitchhikers.
- Have your car or house key in your hand as you approach the door.
- If you are concerned about crime and must go out, find a friend to walk, jog or shop with.
- If you jog, do not jog alone in isolated areas.
- Keep your wallet in an inside coat or side trouser pocket.
- Park in well-lighted areas that will be well-lighted when you return. Be sure to lock your car doors.
- Show you are calm, confident and know where you are going.
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.
- Women living alone should list only their last name and first initial in the phone book and on mail boxes. Ask the phone company to not list your address in the book.
- Be aware of potential scams that could affect you or your loved ones. Here are some common scams targeting older adults.
If Attacked or Robbed
- Call the police immediately, identifying yourself and giving your location.
- Don't escalate this crime into a violent encounter.
- If the attacker is after your property, don't resist.
- Make a conscious effort to get an accurate description of your attacker: age, race, complexion, body build, height, weight, type and color of clothing.
- Try not to panic or show any signs of anger or confusion.
- Try to remain calm.
If Your Home is Broken Into
- If a door or window has been forced or broken while you are absent. Do not enter or call out! Someone may still be inside.
- Use a neighbor's phone immediately to call the police, and wait there until they arrive.
When You Call the Police
- Call the Police Dispatch Center at 636-949-3300 to report burglaries, thefts, vandalism, prowlers, or suspicious or disruptive activities. You will be asked to provide:
- Your address, name and phone number
- What Happened? Describe the event in as brief manner as possible
- When Did it Happen? Tell if the crime is in progress or when it occurred
- Who Did It? Name or describe the suspect or vehicle, if there is one
- Where Did They Go? Which way and how did they leave?
- Try to remain calm.
- Use 911 for medical emergencies, fires and crimes in progress. Someone should respond within a few minutes on a call of this type. In many situations, an officer may be dispatched while you are still providing information to the Communications Specialist.
- Wait for the officer to arrive or to return your call. The time it takes for an officer to arrive will depend on many factors. The officer may ask you questions similar to those asked earlier. Please be patient.
Remembering Case Information
In many situations it may be unnecessary for an officer to come to you. Nearly 15% of all police cases are handled over the telephone. Therefore, keep track of the case number you are given by the officer. It will be needed by your insurance company if you file a claim, and all future police activity related to that event will be linked to that number. If there is enough information, the case will be passed on to a follow-up detective. It will be a few days before you are contacted.
If you have new information to give to the detective, be sure to reference your case number.