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CRIME PREVENTION - TIPS

Burgeoning urban population, changing social values and evolving technology - various factors pose a constant challenge to Chennai city police, in their fight against crime.

Certain simple precautions taken up by the public can go a long way in making policing more effective and reducing crime opportunities.

Some of these precautions, which can be adopted by the public, are listed below. This is not an exhaustive list but an indicative one.
Doors And Windows
Always keep your main door closed. Provide it with a peephole.
Fix a metal grill or collapsible gate outside the main door, which will provide you the visibility without exposing you to threats.
Ensure that the window grills are not screwed into the frames, but embedded in the cement work.
Whenever you move into a new house, change the main door and back door locks.
Where air-conditioners are fixed provide an additional grill outside.
There is generally a spate of 'window snatching' during the hot summer months. The public is advised to sleep at a certain distance from the open windows.
Do not keep valuables, purses, mobile phones, and wristwatches openly visible from outside. If possible fix mosquito nets on the nets, which won't cut off ventilation.
Fix Electronic burglar alarms with telephone for warning. Now it is available for Rs.800 - Rs. 1000. onwards.

Lighting
Switch on outside lights during nighttime.
When you go out, switch on at least one inside light, to give the impression that the house is not empty.
There are timer mechanisms available in the market, which control lights. If you are planning to be away from home for some days, install one of these gadgets. [TOP]

Going Out ?
The city police provide a free service to the public. When you are going out of station, you can inform to the local station the duration of your absence. The beat constables will keep watch regularly.
You can also use the SMS facility to inform. Send SMS " LOCKED HOUSE, NUMBER X, X Street . X locality. Period FROM date X, Month X TO Date X, Month X " to 98407 00100 [Available presently for Chennai city residents only].

Security
Ensure your watchman is an able bodied person. Do approach the local police to verify his antecedents.
Surprise the watchman at wee hours to ensure he doesn't sleep.
Organise night patrols in your community. The local police will assist you if approached through the residents' association.
Keep touch with the beat police constables while they are coming to your area and keep them informed of even minor incidences. This will prevent major crimes in future.
Install eBeat chip in at least one house in the street. Residence can approach the local station to get installed a eBeat chip in compound wall, for the nominal payment. To know more about eBeat [Available presently for Chennai city residents]
Don't allow strangers who claim to be mechanics / messengers / sales people to enter, without thoroughly checking their credentials. Train your watchman also to do so.
Inform the local police of suspicious characters.
If at all you have to allow them inside when you are alone, call the watchman or a neighbour to stay around till the work is completed
Inform without delay of any gambling activities, pirated/ porno CD distribution, drug or illicit peddling in your locality. Any hesitation will result in increase of criminal elements in your locality
Remember. The more you deny temptation, lesser will be the chances of being robbed.

Jewels / Cash / Documents

Keep jewels, important documents and other valuables in bank lockers. Bring them home only when absolutely necessary.
Don't keep valuables or money in the side box of your parked two-wheeler.
Don't leave valuables or money in your Car while parking.
Ladies are advised to conceal their neck jewels while traveling in public transportations and during public festivals.
If you are coming out of the bank after heavy withdrawals or out of a jeweler after purchase, be alert of somebody trying to divert your attention; by pointing out to dirt or waste on your person, spitting betel nut on you or throwing some money on the street.
Keep your valuables or money safely tucked away inaccessibly on your person while traveling in public transportations. If you carrying them in a bag, keep the bag close to your person in front of you.
Do not respond to people offering to assist or sexual advances in public transportations. These are some of the common diversionary tactics employed.
The safest will be to avoid traveling in crowded transportations while carrying heavy cash or valuables.

Servant Verification
The city police provide a free service to the public. Whenever you are engaging the services of Domestic Servants like Maid, Caretaker, Cook, Driver, Office Boy or Watchman you can approach the local station for verifying their antecedents [Available presently for Chennai city residents].

Vehicle Safety
Use fork lock in your two wheelers while parking.
While going shopping or anywhere please park your vehicles in the vehicles parking lot.
During the night hours don't park your vehicles out side your compound wall.
In case your vehicle is stolen, please inform the local police station as early as possible. The delay in informing will result in more crimes being committed and increase the difficulty in tracing the vehicle.
If you notice an unattended and unknown vehicle parked for a day or more, inform the local police, beat constables or CONTROL ROOM
When buying a used vehicle, compare the Registration number, Engine number and Chassis number with the RC book. Checkup with database of lost and found vehicle in this website.

Shops /Banks
Bankers, Jewelers and shop owners are advised to fix Burglar alarm, CCTV and engage young and healthy watchmen after checking their antecedents.
Get trained in detecting fake credit cards and counterfeit.
Banks are advised to install hot lines with the local police stations.
The frontage should be well lit after business hours. Do not allow tramps, paper pickers and beggars to sleep in the shop front.
New type of Shutters (Single Piece) cannot be easily breached.

Credit Card Users
In case of losing the credit card, lodge a complaint with the bank immediately. It will enable the bank to announce it as 'hot card' as early as possible, making it possible to nab the culprit. This will also protect you from liabilities, which may be incurred using the stolen card.
Do not write the PIN number on the card itself.

Using An ATM
Make sure your privacy is not intruded while using the ATM
Collect the cash and count it as unobtrusively as possible.
Keep the cash in its place before coming out of the ATM booth
Make sure you log out in the right sequence
Don't forget to collect the card from the slot.
Do not ask for assistance from any unauthorised person.
Do not encourage strangers who offer unsolicited advice.
Avoid using ATMs in uncrowded places especially late night
When signing the bill counterfoil, after making a purchase using the credit card, make sure there are no duplicates or additional bills.

Senior Citizens
Inform the local police station if Senior citizens are home alone for a considerable period of time.
They are advised to exercise precaution in interacting with or taking assistance from strangers.
Remember to call CONTROL ROOM

Women

General precaution is advised to avoid lonely places or attracting unwanted attention.
Remember an exclusive WOMEN /CHILD HELPLINE is available in all the districts.
See the exclusive section CRIME AGAINST WOMAN"

Children
Teach your child to tell your name, house address and contact numbers, which will be very useful if they get lost.
But advise them not to pass on this information to casual enquirers or over phone.
Don't leave children alone in crowded places. For toddlers who are yet to communicate clearly, tie an identity tag/card.
Train the children not to accept eatables from strangers, not to accompany strangers who call them on some pretext.
Remember an exclusive WOMEN/CHILD HELPLINE is available in all the districts

Travelling
Ensure the luggage is latched and locked.
Secure your luggage with a chain lock. Do not leave them unattended.
Do not accept eatables from co-travelers.
Do not reveal too many personal details to strangers.

Walkers
Early morning walkers are advised to avoid wearing valuable jewels, which will attract the snatchers.
Please avoid walking in the dark, especially in lonely stretches.
It's advisable for women to avoid lonely stretches even during daytime.

Job Rackets
Be wary of advertisements or individuals offering overseas jobs. Check their antecedents.
Check the website of the companies in which jobs are promised.
If needed do not hesitate to approach the consulate of the country.
Before complaining contact the following organisations to crosscheck the facts of employers.
Ministry of Labour. Protector of Emigrants. TNHB Shopping Centre, Ashok nagar, Chennai-83
Tamilnadu Overseas Employment Corporation, 41, McNichols Road , Chetput,Chennai-31
The Central Crime Branch at the Office of the Commissioner of Police, Pantheon Road , Egmore can be approached to prefer complaints on overseas job rackets.
For emergency complaints contact the CONTROL ROOM

How To Avoid Identity Theft

Identity Theft is a recent phenomenon. Globally, over 500,000 people are victims of this crime each year. The best protection always is prevention. Here are some tips to safeguard your good name:
BEWARE Any document that has personal financial information on it can give an identity thief a foothold into your life.
Put the charge slip copies in a safe spot until your credit card bills arrive.
After you've reconciled your bill, shred every statement, in­cluding credit card re­ceipts, old bank statements, medical statements, every­day bills and pre-approved credit card offers.
Write clearly on all credit applications. Consistently and completely fill in all credit and loan applications using your full name, first, middle and last. Every bill that comes to your house should be addressed exactly the same.
Monitor your credit accounts carefully, so you'll know if a bill's missing or unauthorised purchases have been made.
Close out unused credit cards. Cutting them up is not enough.
Limit the number of credit cards you carry. The fewer cards you have, the easier it is to track them.
If you're moving, contact all your creditors and update them of your address changes immediately. You don't want credit in­formation and new credit cards being delivered to the wrong address.
If your credit card expires and you don't receive a new one, call your creditor immediately.
Don't provide your credit card number to anyone who con­tacts you through telephone solicitation.
Make sure any online credit card charges are handled through a secure site or in an encrypted mode. You'll know you're on a secure site if the web page on which you conduct your trans­action begins with 'https' instead of the usual 'http'.
Only shop on websites that offer a privacy policy. Know how your personal information will be handled. Print out privacy policies, warranties, price guarantees and other important information.
Be watchful of shoulder-surfers. At ATMs and phone booths, thieves will stand close enough to see PIN num­bers punched in by users.


Parents Guide to INTERNET safety

Parents should recognise the benefits that the internet offers but should also be aware of the potential dangers online.The naive and trustng nature of children can make them an easy target for a variety of dangers on the internet like bullying and harassment,pornography,information theft and financial fraud.However, if parents take the time to educate themselves about technology and establish some simple safety rules, the internet can become a very positive and educative place for their children.

Some warning signs to watch for...
Changes in your child's behaviour such as being very secretive or sudden changes in their interests, problems with sleeping and so on.
The amount of time that your child spends on the Internet, especially if this is late at night.
Your child becoming secretive or defensive about his online activity and quickly changes the screen when you enter the room
Unusual charges on your phone/internet bills.


Things to do to ensure CYBER SAFETY OF YOUR KIDS:

Educating your child about the internet is the most effective way of protecting them against the dangers that lurk online.
Spent time with them to explore the internet and to introduce them to appropriate websites of their interest.
Set the rules for internet use , limit the number of hours and times at which they can be online
Install both commercial and free software that create a safety system for your computer.
Place the computer in a neutral space in the house e.g. the living room.

Do's:
Encourage your child, to inform you immediately if they are threatened, scared or made uncomfortable by someone or something online.
Advice your child to be cautious about believing what they read on the Internet, because it is not always true or reliable.
Alert your child to be careful when they visit chat rooms and keep out of chat rooms for adults under all circumstances.
Instruct your child to make sure that the firewall software is alway running when they use the Internet connection. Under no circumstances must this be switched off.

Don'ts:
Instruct your children not to give their own or their friends names, addresses, phone numbers, school names, or other personal information.
Instruct your children not to send any picture of themselves, their parents or their friends to anyone without your permission.
Instruct your children not to fill out forms or questionnaires online in your absense or without your permission.
Instruct your children not to enter areas of website that have charge for services without your permission.

Things to do if your Child is a victim:

E-Mail Offences:
Take the child in to confidence, get the information of the email ID from which such emails are received, get the prints of the concerned emails along with the full header.
Save the emails, do not delete it from the inbox. Initially ,there is a tendency to delete immediately when such type of emails are received. Don't do this. Save all the emails beginning from the first one .
The ISPs normally preserve log details for a very short duration, which may vary from fifteen days to two months, do not delay in approaching the police.It may result in evidence getting lost.
Submits email prints with 'full header'along with the complaint to the police. Do not reply to unknown email Ids.

Creation of 'Vulgur /obscene profiles:
various service providers allow creation of personal profile, but unscrupulus elements can misuse this, when the girl has a difference of opinion or a misunderstanding with a male friend.The male friend or his friends create a vulgar/obscene profile of the girl and post it on such websites along with the phone number.
The girl may then receive obscene and harassing phone calls from all over the world. In such a case, enquire with the people who are calling to identity the ID of the profile, that it can be removed by requesting the website administrator.
Take a print of such a profile and submit to the police.

Obscene/Vulgar SMS /MMS Clipping:
THe service providers do not keep record for more than two days, therefore if objectionable MMS clippings are received; contact the police/cyber crime Investigation Cell, immediately.
Whoever transmits obscene or Vulgar SMS/MMS messages commits an offence, For e.g. If 'A' transmits to 'B' and 'B' to 'C' etc. then "A" & "B' had committed an offence. So do NOT transmit any message that is vulgar.

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