Crime Prevention Tips

ATM Safety
The Sykesville Police Department offers the following suggestions to help keep you safe when conducting business at an ATM:
  • Always pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings
  • Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or is in a secluded location
  • Memorize your personal identification number (PIN)
  • Never count cash at the machine or in public
  • When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, your doors locked, and leave enough room to maneuver out
  • If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, comply
  • If you know of, or experience a crime at an ATM, report it immediately to the police
Crime Prevention at Home
Follow these easy steps to make your home less appealing to criminals:
  • Make sure you have sturdy metal or solid wood doors at all entries into your home, and that sliding glass and similar doors are properly secured
  • Install and use well-made deadbolt locks (1.5-inch throw or greater) on all exterior doors
  • Make sure all exterior doors have wide-angle viewers that can be used by everyone in the house. Install 2 viewers at different heights if necessary
  • Light up entry doors so that you can tell who's there. Motion detector lights, flood lights, or similar lighting can help brighten up the property
  • Trim the shrubbery around your doors and windows so crooks don't have a place to hide
  • Instead of hiding keys around the outside of your house, give a key to a neighbor that you trust
  • Consider an alarm. They can be a good investment, especially if you have valuables in your home
Keeping Your Children Safe
Listen - really listen - to what your child tells you about friends, the neighborhood, worries, and fears. Thoughtful listening builds communication and trust, which are keys to helping your kids grow up safe.
  • Talk with your kids about drugs, violence and other problems. Make your family values clear and be a good example
  • Make sure you know your child's friends and the friend's parents
  • Before your children go to another home, ask the adults there whether they have guns or alcohol and if so whether these are securely and safely stored
  • Check out the neighborhood with your child. Find out where he or she feels safe and unsafe. Work with neighbors to address problems such as unsafe shortcuts, dangerous intersections, areas where shrubbery needs trimming back, and lack of safe places to seek help
  • Set up clear rules for play after school, on weekends, and during time off in the summer or at holidays. Help your child review them regularly
  • Urge kids to play in groups, which are far less susceptible to an approach by strangers
  • Be a helping adult. Let kids know that they can tell you anything and that you will listen caringly. Mentor a child who needs adult support