End of day­light sav­ing time means an op­por­tu­nity for in­creased crime

The Avenue News - - NEWS -

The up­side to the end of Day­light Sav­ing Time is an ex­tra hour of sleep. The down­side means longer nighttime dark­ness when crim­i­nals are more likely to prey on vic­tims since day­light often lessens vi­o­lent crimes. As Stan­dard Time re­places Day­light Sav­ing Time this week­end, the Gov­er­nor’s Of­fice of Crime Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion has pro­duced a list of safety tips to help keep Mary­lan­ders safe as dark­ness comes ear­lier in the day.

“Re­search shows a sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant cor­re­la­tion be­tween an in­crease in crime when the time changes along with higher rates of ag­gres­sion,”said V. Glenn Fue­ston, Jr., GOCCP Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor. “In par­tic­u­lar, the time shift re­sults in ear­lier and longer pe­ri­ods of dark­ness which can lead to more street crimes such as bur­glary, thefts, and rapes. Be­tween the hours of 5-7 p.m., most peo­ple are leav­ing work or school and walk­ing to their homes, cars, or buses. The cloak of dark­ness is an op­por­tune time for crim­i­nals who can get away quickly, leav­ing their vic­tims un­able to iden­tify them. The best ad­vice is to be aware.”

Tips to keep you safe:

• Walk with con­fi­dence and pur­pose.

• Stay alert and lis­ten to your sur­round­ings; the more aware you are, the less vul­ner­a­ble you are.

• Avoid un­pop­u­lated ar­eas, de­serted streets, and poorly lit ar­eas.

• Trust your in­stincts about a per­son or an area. If you are un­sure or feel un­safe, leave im­me­di­ately.

• If you feel you are be­ing fol­lowed, change course and head for a store, lighted house, or a well-lit area.

• Avoid dis­tracted walk­ing. Keep your eyes on what’s ahead and away from your elec­tronic de­vices.

• Avoid noise-can­celling head­phones to en­sure you are aware of your sur­round­ings.

• Travel with a friend if you can and walk to ve­hi­cles in groups or pairs.

• Make sure your keys are read­ily ac­ces­si­ble when ap­proach­ing your ve­hi­cle and al­ways check the back­seat be­fore get­ting in.

• Carry a small flash­light and whis­tle to make your­self vis­i­ble and heard if nec­es­sary.

• Con­sider down­load­ing a safety app for your phone that sends your where­abouts to trusted friends and fam­ily if you are in trou­ble.

• Call po­lice im­me­di­ately if some­thing hap­pens to you or some­one else, or you no­tice any­thing out of the or­di­nary.

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