Preventing crime takes each individual person being responsible for their own safety and making wise choices. Those choices can include going out shopping at night to the landscape of your residential property. In the sections below, we offer a wide variety of safety tips for you as a person, your vehicle, your home, and your business.
What is Crime Stoppers?
Crime Stoppers is a program in which member of the community, the media, law enforcement agencies and businesses work together to solve crimes. Crime Stoppers offers rewards for information about criminal activities. When giving information about a crime, callers do NOT have to leave their name and are NOT required to testify in a court of law.
How does Crime Stoppers work?
Each week a “Crime of the Week” is publicized through the radio and newspaper. Citizens are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 243-CALL (252-243-2255) with information about that crime or any other unsolved crime in our area.
Each caller is assigned a number and will be asked to call Crime Stoppers at a later time to see if their crime tip resulted in an arrest. If so, the caller will be eligible for a reward.
Citizens with vital information about crimes sometimes fail to contact the police because they fear retaliation or they do not want to appear in court. The result is that many criminals are still walking our streets and committing other crimes.
Who benefits from Crime Stoppers?
Society as a whole benefits from Crime Stoppers. A criminal is taken off the streets and is no longer a threat to you, your children or your business.
How can you help?
Crime Stoppers is funded through donations from people like you – Individuals, Professional Associations, Corporations, Retailers, and Civic and Social Groups. Crime Stoppers only purpose is to make Wilson a better and safer place to live. We need your help to reach that goal. Tax-Deductible donations can be made to:
CRIME STOPPERS OF WILSON, INC.
P.O. Box 1146
Wilson, NC 27894-1146
Preventing Car Break-Ins
- Remove all valuables from your car. Don’t leave valuables visible.
- Close the windows and lock your doors every time you get out.
- Park in well-lighted areas and don’t park near shrubs or fences that could provide concealment for criminals.
- Keep your driveway and yard lit up all night. It’s harder for criminals to hide in the light.
- Don’t keep spare keys inside the car.
- Lock your shopping packages in the trunk.
- Use heavy duty locks for truck tool boxes and secure the tool box to the bed of the truck.
- Be observant. Notify the police if you see anyone acting in a suspicious manner such as loitering around cars or looking into cars.
- Always trust your instincts and gut feelings – if you sense something is odd, it probably is. Call and get the next available officer sent to your area.
- Close and lock all doors even when leaving for a short period of time. This includes garages and connecting doors.
- Use automatic timers to cut lights on and off if you are gone for an extended time.
- Illuminate the yard, especially doorways and the rear of the house.
- Trim trees and shrubs around the house. These provide concealment for burglars.
- Install good locks on doors and windows and USE THEM. Don’t hide keys in mailboxes and planters or under doormats. Instead, leave an extra set of keys with a trusted neighbor or friend.
- Use deadbolt locks that require a key from either side (double cylinder).
- Be sure your street address number is large, in clear view and well lit so police and other emergency personnel can find your home quickly.
- Keep ladders, tools, and lawn furniture locked up. Burglars commonly use these to gain entry to houses.
- Install a peephole or wide angle viewer in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door. Door chains break easily and don’t keep out intruders.
- The mere perception of alarms and dogs are the #1 and #2 deterrents to burglars.
- Use alarm systems if financially able. Simple window alarms can be purchased at most home improvement stores for less than $20.
- Write down your serial numbers and keep up with them.
- Inscribe your driver’s license or NC ID number on all your belongings.
- Implement and be an active member of a neighborhood watch program.
- If you arrive home and something looks questionable (ex. a slit screen, broken window, open door etc.) DON’T GO IN. Call the police from a neighbor’s house or other phone.
- Ask for photo ID from service or delivery people before letting them in. If you are the least bit worried, call the company to verify.
- Have neighbors or family pick up mail if you are going to be gone for a few days.
Business Safety Tips
- Update emergency contact information with your alarm company and the 911 Communications Center.
- Post police and emergency telephone numbers in a conspicuous location so they will be readily available during an emergency.
- Make sure exterior doors are locked when you or your employees leave at night.
- Open cash register drawers and remove monies from the business overnight. Leave empty cash drawers visible.
- Report any suspicious activity or persons to the police immediately. Do not wait.
- Get the best description possible of the suspect(s) or any involved vehicle. Timely reporting of this information is critical.
- Consider investing in a quality surveillance system with a recording capability. This may also benefit your business in regard to insurance.
Telephone Response Unit
When to call the Telephone Response Unit for Police assistance:
The Wilson Police Department has a Telephone Response System dedicated to taking reports by telephone. You will receive the same level of service as you would if a patrol officer had responded to you. To contact someone who will take your report, please call 252-399-2323. A TRU officer is available daily from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Gas Drive Offs
- Missing Person (Adult / Juvenile)
- Vandalism / Damage to Property
- Animal Call Complaints
- Larcenies that occurred earlier
- Harassing / Annoying Phone Calls
- Unauthorized Use / Theft / Break-in Damage to a Vehicle that occurred earlier
- Additions to Reports made earlier
- Fraud / Embezzlement / Forgeries that occurred earlier
- B&E to coin operated machines
- Suspicious activity that does not require immediate police response
- Communicating Threats and the suspect is no longer on scene
General Crime Prevention
“The anticipation, recognition and appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of some action to remove or reduce it.”
It is the philosophy of the Wilson Police Department that preventing crime is preferable to dealing with crime after it has occurred. Crime Prevention concentrates on the dual concept of eliminating or minimizing criminal opportunities, whenever possible, and encouraging citizens to be responsible for their own security and the security of others.
If you are concerned about the security of your home or business, call and setup an appointment for a security survey with one of our officers. Our officers will come to your home or business and walk through the inside and observe the outside and give suggestions (if needed) on how to further secure your property against burglary and intrusion.
Contact Sergeant Steve Stroud, Public Information Officer, at the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2350 if you have questions or to set up a security survey for your home or business.
Crime Prevention Tips:
- Make Your Home Look Occupied: Leave some lights and a radio on when you’re out.
- Lock Your Doors: Never leave your house open for “just a moment,” always lock your doors when you’re out.
- Use Deadbolt Locks: A deadbolt lock is a good deterrent to burglars.
- Don’t Hide A Key Outside: Burglars know all the secret hiding places.
- Drill And Pin Your Windows: Window locks can be jimmied; pins cannot.
- Brace Sliding Glass Doors: If the door is braced, the only way a burglar can get through it is to break it.
- Install Good Exterior Lighting: Motion sensor lights and other good lights don’t let a burglar hide in the dark.
- Keep Bushes And Shrubs Trimmed: If bushes are too high, someone hiding near your windows and doors cannot be seen.
- Stop Mail And Paper Deliveries: If you go on vacation, stop deliveries or have one of your neighbors collect your mail and papers.
- Get A Dog: Even a small dog may be a deterrent to a burglar.
- Install An Alarm System: Houses with alarms are avoided by burglars.
Crime Prevention Links
- National Crime Prevention Council
- National Citizens’ Crime Prevention Campaign
- McGruff Home Page
- Ways to prevent internet fraud
- Ways to stay safe online
- Scam Alerts
Community Watch is a Crime Prevention program that involves citizens working with each other and with law enforcement agencies to reduce crime and victimization in their communities. It involves:
- Citizens protecting themselves and their property by using common sense crime prevention practices.
- Neighbors getting to know each other, watching out for each other and acting on or reporting suspicious activities.
- Citizens working with groups, community leaders, and, more importantly, law enforcement agencies to make entire communities safe and free from crime.
Citizen Alert, Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, or Community Watch: the names may differ, but the idea is the same. Neighbors looking out for each other!
Why Start A Community Watch?
Because law enforcement officers cannot be on every street corner, citizen involvement is necessary to combat crime. On average, there are approximately two law enforcement officers for every 1,000 citizens. You and your neighbors are the ones who really know what is going on in your community.
By cooperating with each other and with the police, citizens can help fight crime in the most effective way – preventing the victimization of themselves, their families and friends. You are the key element in fighting crime. Get Involved!
How Does Community Watch Work?
The goal of COMMUNITY WATCH is to make criminals aware that every move is being watched and will be reported to the police. Across North Carolina, citizen’s work together to secure their homes, mark their valuables, identify drug dealers, develop child safety programs, and improve the environment in which they and their families live.
How To Start A Community Watch
- Contact the Police Department about setting up a Community Watch program. They can assist with information, materials and advice.
- Schedule a meeting with your neighbors in a church, home, community building, or other location.
- Invite an officer to speak at your original meeting to help get your Community Watch program started.
- Contact every resident in your community and invite them to the meeting. Do this by making door-to-door visits, phone calls, or mailing flyers.
- Hold your meeting.
Community Watch Works When People Get Involved And Stay Involved. To find out how to start a Community Watch in your area, Contact Theresa Mathis, City of Wilson Human Relations Department at 252-399-2309.