Working Together to Stop the Madness
BY RANIA MANKARIOUS, CONTRIBUTING WRITER at THE BUZZ MAGAZINES | FEBRUARY 23, 2020
2020 has begun with increased crime scares. From home invasions to the loss of life at a local high school to car jackings while parents wait for their children to finish an activity, many of us are talking about the everyday safety of our neighborhoods. In the last week alone, there were two aggressive purse snatches at Costco. In one incident, a woman had her purse on the car seat in the back while she loaded the car. Within moments, she saw her purse get snatched, the thief too quick for her or other bystanders to help. This is definitely a time when many are gathering to discuss the state of safety but also to share nuggets of information that might be helpful to others. Here are a few:
No matter where you are, realize crime is potentially nearby. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep your personal items close at all times. Have a plan of what you would do should someone come up to you - how is your purse being held? Is it easy to grab? Where are you parked or where are you walking? What’s in your purse? Anything valuable you could leave at home? What about your keys and phone - could you keep those in your pocket?
At home, it’s important to walk the line between being safe but not paranoid. Still, recognizing that home invasions are on the rise (and that thieves don’t mind going into a home even if people are there), it’s critical to always make sure entry into your home is difficult. Some ideas would be - not siting with garage doors open or back doors unlocked. Also, have a plan in place if someone were to gain entry. Often times, the sheer panic adds to the chaos and places the intruder at an advantage. Remember, they’ve planned their attack.
When running errands or even waiting to pick up an item at a friend’s place, be careful of your surroundings as you sit idly in your car. Have a plan if someone should come up to the car. Make sure even when you are in park, the doors remain locked. Speak on the phone but instead of holding the device up to your ear, talk on speaker phone - doing so keeps you alert and still focused on our surroundings.
No matter what the issue, it’s important that we remain honest about what’s happening and fruitful with solutions. It’s normal for us to hear the headlines, ride an emotional wave and then just move on. Let’s stop this by slowing down and sharing ideas that impact and help each other. In fact, join me and many others at an important event Weds., Feb. 26 at Evelyn’s Park where we will share recent issues and solutions together as community. Register for the event here. Until then, let’s work tonight to keep each other and our community safe.
Read past Sunday Mornings with Rania posts here. Find more information on Crime Stoppers of Houston on their website or follow them on Facebook. Have topics in mind that you’d like Rania to write about? Comment below or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rania is co-host of a weekly podcast which features interesting local and national guests who used their platforms for the good of the community. Connect with Rania on Instagram and Twitter.