Crime prevention Tips

General Rules:

• Be aware -- recognize your vulnerability.
• Report all suspicious persons, vehicles, and activities to Campus Police immediately.  Try to get tag numbers if   possible.
• Be a good neighbor and help protect your friends and neighbors by watching out for them and their property, too.
• If you see something, say something

In Buildings:

Always lock the door to your room, office, or vehicle when you are away, not only to prevent thefts, but so you won’t have any unwelcome guests waiting on you when you return.

Keep your doors locked whenever you find yourself alone in a building.

Keep the door(s) to your residence and windows accessible from the outside locked at all times.

NEVER sleep in an unlocked room or house. 

Do not put your name and address on key rings.

If you lose the keys to your dorm room or residence, have the lock(s) changed. On-campus residents should notify their Residence Life Coordinator immediately.

Do not study in poorly lit, secluded areas.

Require callers to identify themselves before opening your door. Off campus residents should require official identification from all repair or service personnel.

Do not let strangers in to use your telephone. Direct them to a public telephone.

If you find that your room has been entered, DO NOT GO INSIDE. DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING. You may disturb evidence that is important to the Police investigation. Call 911 or th elocal non-emergency number.

If the intruder poses an immediate threat, get out of the room or, as a last resort, fight back.

Be cautious when using bathroom facilities when there is no one else around, particularly at night.

DO NOT block open the entrance doors to the Residence Halls. The doors were put there to protect you and others from "all the things that go bump in the night."

Report lights that are out (and any hazardous conditions) to Physical Plant or to the Residence Life Coordinator.

If, while waiting for an elevator, you find yourself alone with a stranger, let the stranger take the elevator and wait for its return.

If you are on an elevator with someone who makes you feel uneasy, get off at the next floor. On an elevator, always stand near the control panel, where you have access to the alarm and floor buttons.

Out Walking:

Use the buddy system when going out, especially after dark and then stay on traveled and well lighted routes. Avoid short-cuts and keep away from shrubbery, bushes, alleyways, or any other areas where an assailant might be lurking. (Remember that SGSC Police Department (Douglas) or any staff/faculty member (Waycross) will provide escort services upon request after daylight hours.)

Do not hitchhike or accept rides from strangers or casual acquaintances.

When walking to your vehicle or residence, have your keys ready in hand.

When being dropped off at your residence by taxi or private vehicle, ask the driver to wait until you get inside.

If threatened by an approaching vehicle, run in the opposite direction. The vehicle will have to turn around.

When getting out of a car at a public convenience (phone, rest stop, etc.), take a look around to make sure that you are not being followed.

If you are walking alone and someone passes you, check to be sure that person has continued walking in the other direction.

If you think you are being followed, cross the street and, if necessary, keep crossing back and forth. If you are pursued, call for help and run to a lighted business or residence; enlist the aid of a passerby; etc.  Do anything that might attract attention or summon assistance. 

If you find yourself confronted by an assailant, you must remember that while screaming and struggling may in some instances frighten off the assailant, in other instances such actions may further antagonize the assailant and bring forth a more violent reaction.

Above all, you must keep your head and assess the situation before choosing your course of action. Whether or not the assailant is armed or has made threats against your life will, obviously, be a determining factor in your decision. The key word in this type of situation is survival.

Out Driving:

Do not pick up hitchhikers.

Whenever possible, limit traveling to well lit, well-traveled roads.

Keep your windows closed and doors locked.

When stopped at traffic lights or stop signs, keep your vehicle in gear. If threatened, sound your horn and drive away as soon as possible.

Consider installing an alarm system with a panic switch.

Avoid stopping in poorly lit, out-of-the-way places.

If your vehicle breaks down, signal for assistance by raising your hood and by tying a white handkerchief to the radio antenna or door handle. Stay inside your vehicle with the windows closed and the doors locked. If a roadside Samaritan stops, roll down your window just enough to talk and ask that he/she call the police. If the person appears to be a threat, sound the horn and flash your lights.

If you think you are being followed, drive to the nearest location where you can get assistance, i.e., gas stations, shopping centers, police or fire stations, etc.

If you are followed into your driveway or parking lot, stay locked inside your vehicle until you can identify the occupants of the vehicle. If threatened, sound your horn until you attract attention or the vehicle leaves.

When parking at night, choose well-lit areas. Before getting out of your vehicle, check for people loitering. 

Always remove your ignition keys. Lock the vehicle whenever it is unattended.  Before entering your vehicle, always check the interior, paying particular attention to the floor and rear seat.

What Women Should Know about Acquaintance Rape

Sexual intercourse without consent is rape.

Research shows that the majority of rapes are acquaintance rapes and most victims are women.

Rape is a crime of power and control.

Beware of alcohol and other drugs. It's much harder to control the situation if you are under the influence. Be aware of how much your date drinks, too.

Don’t leave your drink alone and don’t drink something you didn’t open yourself. Date-rape drugs put in a drink can cause intense drunkenness, difficulty moving, and memory loss.

Avoid secluded places. Suggest meeting in public places where help will be nearby or go out with a group or double date.

Make it clear before you get into a sexual situation what your limits are. 

Have your own transportation. If you don’t know him well, drive your own car or use public transportation, if possible.

Don’t give in to any of his sexual demands hoping you’ll appease him. Confront him. Demand respect. Trust your instincts. If you feel pressured or afraid, you have the right to protest, leave, and get to a safe place.

What Men Should Know about Acquaintance Rape

Sexual intercourse without consent is a crime; it is a crime for which you can be arrested and prosecuted.

Research shows that the majority of rapes are acquaintance rapes.

Avoid excessive alcohol in a dating situation. Most acquaintance rapes involve alcohol and you are still responsible for your actions even if you are under the influence. Being drunk does not excuse you from using threats, intimidation, or physical force to force another person to have sex.

If you have sex with her and she is incapacitated because of alcohol or drugs, it is rape.

Communicate your sexual desires and limits clearly.

Respect a woman’s decision when she says "no." Believe what she says. If you have sex with her after she says "no," you have raped her. 

If she says "yes," but then changes her mind, you do not have the right to pressure or force her to have sex. If you do, it is rape. Previous sexual encounters do not imply permission for future encounters.

Obscene/Harassing Telephone Calls

As soon as you hear an obscenity, improper questions, or no response to your "hello" – hang up!

Don’t play detective – don’t extend the telephone call by trying to figure out who is calling. This or any type reaction is exactly what the caller wants and needs.

Keep cool. Don’t let the caller know you are upset or angry.

Don’t try to be clever. A witty response may be interpreted as a sign of encouragement.

Don’t try to be a counselor. He or she will only be encouraged by your concern and will continue the late night calls.

Place ads with caution. When placing an ad in a newspaper, use a newspaper or post office box number if possible. If you must use your telephone, do not list your address.

Never volunteer your number to a telephone caller. If your number is the wrong number, the caller does not need to know your telephone number. That could be encouragement to call back.

Report obscene or annoying telephone calls to SGSC Police Department. Begin making a record of each call.

Safety on the Internet

While many of us have grown to love our personal computers and the Internet, there are many dangers involved in their usage.  Try to stay current with all aspects of Internet safety and security.

Viruses.  Computer viruses are simply programs that can interfere with or even critically damage your computer, programs, and stored data.  To help prevent these viruses:

Use a good Anti-Virus program and be sure to apply its periodic updates. Never use a disc that belongs to someone else without first checking it for viruses.

Do not open e-mail attachments from someone you do not know.  Be wary, even if you know that person, because an infected attachment may have been sent if the sender’s computer has become infected without the sender's knowledge.  In those cases, you can scan the attachment with your anti-virus program before opening it.  Be sure to not only delete suspicious e-mails, but also delete the attached document from the attachment folder on your C-drive and then empty your recycle bins, both on your e-mail program and your desktop.

Beware of hoax e-mails telling you that your computer is probably infected and instructing you to delete certain things on your computer.  Check at:  www.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html for a listing of current hoax e-mails.

If your computer becomes infected and begins to infect other computers, unplug your Internet connection and contact someone who knows how to “clean” your computer and make it healthy again.

If you have a broadband connection, such as DSL or a cable modem, consider installing a firewall. See www.learnthenet.com/english/section/protect.html  for more information on this and other computer security hints.  Effective and free firewalls can be found at www.downloads.com.

Use passwords and use a different password for each account and keep them secret!!  Do not use passwords that can be associated with you, such as spouse's, children's or pet names, important dates in your life, favorite teams, vehicles, sports, etc.  Make your password complex by incorporating a mix or upper and lower case letters and one or more numbers. The easiest passwords to crack using password-cracking software are those using only lower case letters.

Update security patches for your operating system and web browser.  (See www.learnthenet.com/English/section/protect.html for more on this subject)

Back up your data on a cd or disk just in case something does go wrong, and get in the habit of doing it on a regular basis.

Disconnect your Internet connection, or close your Web browser to go off line when you are done for the day.  You are most vulnerable when connected to the Net. 

Personal Safety:

Remember that strangers you meet on the Internet are strangers.  They may be saying what they think you want to hear.  Victims have been robbed, sexually assaulted, and even killed when they provided strangers enough information for those strangers to locate them or when they foolishly agreed to meet them.

Teach children not to give out personal information, such as what school they attend, what sport and team they play on, their name and address, their favorite hangouts and when they are there, etc. Predators know just what questions to ask to get the information they need to locate their next victim.  If you cannot supervise your child's Internet activities, install a software package such as "Net-Nanny" or "Norton’s Internet Security" and set up restrictions.  For “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety,” go to www.fbi.gov  and double-click on “FBI for Kids” and then double-click on “Parents and Teachers”.  

Financial Safety:
There are financial scams on the Internet.  Shop only at legitimate and protected on-line sites.  When making on-line purchases, be sure the http:// in the URL changes to "https://" before entering any financial information.  The "s" means you are on a secure web site. 

Protecting Your Property

Residence Hall and Private Residences

Avoid bringing large amounts of cash or valuables to campus or to your residence.

Keep items of value out of sight.

Never lend the key to your residence.

Do not hide keys under mats, above doors, in mailboxes, etc.

No lock works unless you use it!  In the residence halls, lock your room even if you are only going to be away only a minute.

Remember to close and lock your windows when you are not going to be in the room.

When leaving your vehicle at a repair shop/cleaning service, etc., leave only your vehicle key. Take your door keys, etc., with you.

Make a list of your valuable property, to include serial numbers and markings you have made, and keep the list hidden.  Take photos if possible.

Classrooms, Offices, Labs, Cafeteria, etc.

Do not leave purses or valuable items in plain view if you are leaving the immediate area.

Avoid bringing valuable personal property with you.

If you are the last one out and you have the key, look around to make sure no one else is there, then turn off the lights and lock the doors.

Motor Vehicles

Keep your vehicle locked and the windows rolled up tightly. Even a small window space will allow access.

Packages, luggage, and other valuables should be out of sight, in the trunk preferably. 

Don’t leave purses, briefcases, wallets, etc., visible within the car.

Brand names, model numbers, and serial numbers of stereo tape player, C.B. radios, and other auto accessories should be recorded. If you cannot find one, record your state and driver’s License number on the item.

Consider installing anti-theft devices, such as alarms systems, hidden ignition or fuel "kill" switches, steering column ignition switch protectors, steering wheel bars, etc., to prevent the theft of the car itself and locks on the hood, gas cap, mag wheels, spare tires, etc.

Park in well lighted areas.


Always lock your bicycle, preferably to an immovable object, such as a bicycle rack, telephone pole, sign or lamppost, etc.

Whenever possible keep your bicycle inside, but keep it away from stairways, ramps, elevators and exits.

If you must leave your bicycle outside, choose a well-lit, heavily traveled location.

Identification/Debit Cards

When you are issued a South Georgia State College Identification/Debit Card, protect it as if it were a credit card -- as it is a "financial transaction card."

Do not loan your Identification/Debit Card to anyone, as it will be seized when that person attempts to use it.  You may treat family and friends, but you must be present.

If you lose your card, report that loss immediately to the cashier in the Business Office at Engram Hall.  If it is stolen, report the theft immediately to the SGSC Police Department as well.  If you find someone else's Identification/Debit Card, immediately turn it in to Campus Police or to the Business Office at Engram Hall.

The criminal offense of "financial transaction card theft" occurs when a person obtains an SGSC Identification/Debit Card of another person without that person's consent or a person, with knowledge that it has been so obtained, receives the financial transaction card with intent to use it or to sell it or to transfer it to a person other than the issuer or the cardholder.  The offense of "financial transaction card theft" is a felony in the state of Georgia, punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than three years, or both.