How to Stay Safe in Public Settings

Imagine you and your family are at a Disneyland parade. Your kids are so excited to see all the characters walk by in real life, and the floats are amazing. Suddenly, your 3-year-old is nowhere to be found. Did she trail after the parade? Did someone snatch her? Save for staying inside your house all day, there is no foolproof way to ensure you and your family stay safe, especially when you're in a large crowd. And when you consider violent crime increased more than three percent last year, safety should be a number one priority for your family. That's not to say you shouldn't go out and enjoy yourself. It just means that great vigilance is needed.

Browse security company provider websites for myriad ways to learn more about how to stay safe in and out of your home. On the street, in a concert or at a festival where there are thousands of people, you don't know if the one standing next to you right now is going to steal your purse or wallet. Beyond petty theft, nearly four out of every 100 children will be a victim of a violent crime in or outside of the home, according to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Here are some ways to stay safe when in a crowd.

Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid via Wikimedia Commons

Be Purposeful in Your Movements

Start by taking a quick glance over the crowd. Look for the route you want to take to get to your destination. This is all a practice of being present as you are in a crowd. With practice, you will even develop a sense if something is out of place, even in a big crowd.

Some simple tips include:

  • -Keep your wallet in your front pants pocket if you are man
  • -Women should keep their purses close to them, or between them and a friend
  • -Keep a hand free, and carry the fewest items as possible
  • -Never put your stuff down, and don't take your eyes from it
  • -Try to face people as you are walking — thieves often come up behind you
  • -Headphones make it hard to hear people around you
  • -When walking next to a busy street, stay as far from the street as possible, to the inside of the sidewalk
  • -If someone does grab your purse or bags, let them go — you can provoke serious violence if you try to resist

People shouldn't have to live in fear when then leave the house. If you find yourself feeling anxious when being in a crowded place, take an introductory class in self-defense. The skills you learn, such as how to appear confident in public and how to disable attackers, will be valuable. Even if you never actually use them, you'll still feel more confident and in control.

The first step to safety in public places is to be aware of what's going on around you. Thieves don't want to be noticed. If they see you've noticed them — or worse, made eye contact — you'll likely not be targeted. There are plenty of people around you who aren't paying attention who can become the thief's next victim.

Before you next venture out, get Pepper Spray.

What public safety tips do you have to add? Share them in the comments.

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