BHPD Provides Holiday Safety Tips

The winter “season of giving” is the season of taking for many lawbreakers. Amid a recent rash of smash-and-grab flash mobs and robberies, the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) has offered a flurry of safety tips to the public this week.

“You can do a lot to help,” BHPD’s new Chief of Police Mark Stainbrook said at the Beverly Hills City Council meeting on Dec. 7. “Please talk about personal security with your family. Follow basic security procedures, lock your doors, windows, gates. Do not keep valuables in your car and lock your cars and be aware of your surroundings. Please report suspicious activity to the police department. You are our best source of information and you know your neighborhoods the best.”

The key to staying safe this holiday season is “situational awareness,” BHPD said in a Dec. 8 public notice. They offered these basic tips:

• Walk or travel with a purpose: Project an assertive image that conveys you know where you are going.

• Keep a safe distance by not allowing individuals to get too close, even if they give a reason, like asking for the time.

• Remember, listening to music or talking on your cell phone can significantly limit your awareness which may make it easier for a potential suspect to catch you off guard.

• When traveling home in your vehicle, lock your doors and pay attention to your surroundings for possible threats like vehicles that may appear to be following you. If you suspect this is occurring, immediately notify the Police Department and change your direction of travel. Drive to your local law enforcement station.

• When arriving home, visually assess your property before stopping and exiting your vehicle. If you sense or see something out of the ordinary, remain in your vehicle and drive away. Report this to your local law enforcement agency.

• Report suspicious activity by calling 911 or the non-emergency dispatch number, 310-550-4951.

“While money is often the motivation, these are crimes of violence because they involve the threat or actual use of physical violence,” said BHPD in a statement.

“The basic rules of prevention are to be sensible and to be alert. Always trust your instincts: Trusting your own instincts that a situation seems ‘wrong’ can be the best personal safety tool you have.”

In recent social media posts, police offered a number of specific tips to protect shopping purchases, homes and businesses.

For holiday shoppers, BHPD reminds residents of the following best practices:

• Always lock your car, even if you will only be away a few minutes.

• Park in well-lit areas or valet your car.

• Do not become distracted by your shopping: always stay alert.

• Avoid wearing jewelry or clothing that may cause undue attention.

• Use well-lit ATMs.

• Monitor the activity on your credit cards and report any unauthorized transactions immediately.

For Homes:

• Always lock your doors and windows.

• Ensure your home security is working properly.

• Set your alarm while you are gone, even for a few minutes.

• Install video surveillance and make its existence known with signage.

• Ensure your video surveillance system is set to the correct date and time and set to record.

For travelers’ home security:

• Register for a “vacation watch” on the BHPD website if you plan to be out of town.

• Have your packages delivered to your business or a neighbor’s home while you are away.

For businesses:

• Install video surveillance and make its existence known with signage.

• Greet customers with eye contact and be attentive.

• Be alert to customers without a clear purpose.

• Keep non-public doors closed and locked.

• Ensure your alarm system is functioning properly.

• Ensure your video surveillance system is set to the correct date and time and set to record.

• Establish safety protocols for employees to follow in case of an emergency.

• Communicate information with all employees and surrounding businesses.

For their part, police said BHPD is increasing patrols with both police officers and private security. To wit, BHPD swore in 5 new officers Dec. 6 and are continuing to actively recruit more officers.

Share Post