Crime Prevention and Community Education
What is Crime Prevention?
It is the anticipation, recognition, and appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of some action to remove or reduce it. The Burlington Police Department offers several crime prevention programs that help promote and improve safety for community groups and individuals. Officers provide educational resources and programs to assist those interested in learning more about crime prevention. Our goal is to provide educational opportunities for citizens to remove or reduce crime risk. You can visit Crimestoppers for more information on how to report a crime. This Crime Prevention Kit is an excellent resource, and you can visit the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Crime Prevention Council for additional resources.
There are numerous types of scams that scammers will use to convince you to give them your information. The easiest way to avoid scams is to never give your information out to someone you do not know and do not give or receive money from people you do not know. Anyone can be a victim of fraud. Criminals can gain access to your information in different ways. Some may steal your physical card if you lose or leave your wallet/ purse unattended. They might obtain your information through phishing scams, which is where criminals will send you an email from what might look like a trusted source, such as your bank, and ask you to provide or confirm your information. They may call you on the phone stating you have won a prize and ask for your information that way. If you do anything with your card online, they can access your information that way. Sometimes your card information can
Google Play, itunes, or Other Gift Cards:
One of the most common types of fraud we receive reports of is fraud using Google Play or iTunes gift cards specifically, but it is not limited to only these types of gift cards. Scammers will ask you to go to a store that sells Play or iTunes gift cards, such as a Walmart, and load them with a specific amount of money. Then they will ask you to provide them with the card number either verbally or by sending them a picture of it. They will then use the card without sending you whatever they promised. Scammers do NOT need to have the physical card in order to use it. You should never have to spend money in order to receive money.
Tips to Avoid Scams:
It is not always possible to avoid being the victim of fraud or a scam. Criminals do their best to make their pitch sound convincing, and your credit card information can be obtained with relative ease. However, there are some basic things you can do to avoid having your identity stolen or falling victim to a scam. We have listed below some basic tips to help you avoid fraud. For more tips, visit here.
"Part of keeping kids and communities safe is preventing bullying. Bullying can be physically and psychologically damaging and have lifelong effects, including anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies... Words can hurt, but they can also help. You have the power to make a difference by stopping bullying when you see it. You can be a good example by not gossiping or making fun of others. Although bullying was once considered a rite of passage, parents, educators, and community leaders now see bullying as a devastating form of abuse that can have long-term effects on youthful victims, robbing them of self-esteem, isolating them from their peers, causing them to drop out of school, and even prompting health problems and suicide."
How Kids Can Prevent Bullying:
There are effective and safe ways for kids to help someone who is being bullied. You can help kids know what method works best by role-playing with them. Emphasize they should only step in if they feel safe.
How Parents Can Prevent Bullying:
It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of an attack or intimation by other students. Additional resources to prevent bullying are listed below:
Keeping Your Child Safe Online:
Think you know everything you need to know about your child? Some parents are surprised to learn what all their child has hidden on their cell phones and tablets. In this age of technology, parents need to exercise caution with how freely they allow their children to use their smartphones and the internet. It is a good idea to have a conversation with your child about the potential dangers they might encounter. And with the advent of technology, bullying has shifted to an online platform as well and has seemingly become more heinous. Sometimes changes in your child's behavior can be an indication they are being bullied online, such as turning off the computer or quickly switching screens, not wanting to go to school, statements like saying they have no friends, or they become withdrawn. The apps or sites that children use change often, but we have provided links below to some of the current ones as well as types of apps children might use to hide their online activity. To help your child, have open and honest conversations with them and let them know you are available to listen no matter what they may need to say. If you feel it is necessary for the safety of your child, parental controls can also be set up on their device or through your service provider.
Lock It or Lose It:
Nobody wants to be the victim of a crime, but if you leave GPS units, phones, purses, or other valuables in your vehicle, you are increasing the risk that you will be a victim of theft. BPD reports that most thefts from vehicles are the result of people leaving their car doors unlocked or leaving valuables in view where thieves can easily spot them. The message is, "If thieves see it, they will steal it." What are thieves looking for? Everything! This includes audio equipment, cash, purses, cell phones, tools, clothes, driver's licenses and other personal documents, checkbooks, luggage, cameras, GPS units, or other items of value or personal identification. If a thief manages to get anything with your personal information on it, including a social security number, you are now in danger of becoming a victim of identity theft. The key to preventing thefts from your vehicle starts with you! Listed below are some quick tips to help prevent theft from your vehicle and more information on our Lock It or Lose It program is available here:
What to Do If You're Stopped by an Officer:
Property crimes can affect anyone, but there are a few steps that citizens can take to both prevent theft and make recovery of stolen property more likely. Always remember to lock your vehicles. There has been a national campaign, which the BPD has participated in, called #9pmroutine. The idea is to establish a routine at night where you doublecheck that you have locked your vehicle, turn on outside lights, and confirm you have locked the doors and windows in your home. However, despite our best efforts, property crimes still happen. We will not always be able to recover whatever property was stolen, but citizens can make recovery more likely by having serial numbers or identifying marks on their property. If you can provide officers with the model and serial numbers from your electronics, it makes it easier to determine to whom the property may belong. That is why we recommend citizens collect the model and serial numbers from all their electronics and other valuables and suggest citizens use ReportIt. ReportIt is a private database where citizens can create an account and log all their serial numbers, and if you are the victim of a theft, you can log in from any device to provide a list of the stolen items serial numbers to police. ReportIt is private; no one except for the account holder will have access to the stored information. It is completely free, so create your account here.
Counterfeit products are fake replicas produced in a manner that is increasingly difficult for consumers to identify, which is why we recommend always purchasing from a reputable source or directly from the manufacturer. This is the best way to ensure avoiding counterfeits. It's not always easy to spot a fake, even when it's side by side with the genuine product. However, it's important to know the clues that can help you spot a fake.
- Labels with missing punctuation or misspellings
- Different fonts or icons
- Blurred logos
- Poor grammar or typos on packaging and/ or products
- Sale at an improbable location for the product, particularly street vendors
- Low quality packaging
Police and Fire Alarm Ordinances:
The City of Burlington adopted a Police and Fire Alarm Ordinance
These ordinances are in effect as of July 1, 2004. We offer an online alarm registration here.
How to Avoid False Alarms:
Considering the advanced technology utilized by modern home security systems, it may be surprising to learn that the vast majority of calls to police are false alarms. In fact, at least 90% of security system alarm calls prove to be unnecessary. Fire alarms are also susceptible to false alarms often due to a low battery, a loose electrical connection, high humidity, or dirt in the sensor chamber. They require maintenance just like any other household product. Frequently, the most common false alarms are due to human error, which homeowners can easily avoid by following the following tips thus avoiding embarrassment and a potentially costly situation.
- "You cannot accurately judge the distance and speed of an oncoming train. Never try to 'beat' a train."
- "Only cross tracks at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings."
- "All train tracks are private property - trespassing is illegal and highly dangerous."
- "Do not walk, run, cycle, or operate ATVs on railroad tracks, bridges or property, or through tunnels."
- "Never drive around lowered gates - it's illegal and deadly." @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- "If your vehicle stalls on a crossing, get out and clear away from the crossing."
- "Quieter technology makes it less likely that you might hear the approach of a train."
- "Stay alert around railroad tracks. Do not text, use headphones, or have other distractions."
- "A train can extend 10 feet or more beyond the steel rail; always stay at least 100 feet" away. Always assume railroad tracks are in use, even if there are weeds or the track looks unused."
- "A train can appear at any time. Freight trains do not travel at fixed times." @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
The BPD has some tips on how you can have a safe and fun Halloween. Below are some useful safety tips as well as a fun video series to get you ready for Halloween. Make sure you talk to your kids about how to be safe and follow these tips so your Halloween is a treat. Our thanks to Hollywood Horror Show for their help in these videos. View these Halloween tips and more, by downloading the National Crime Prevention Council's kit. Teach your children about "Stranger Danger" and to never enter someone's house or car, to report any suspicious behavior of an older person, and you should escort young children yourself or take them in groups. You can consider organizing a big Halloween party at a school or community center in lieu of trick or treating. To keep children safe in the streets tell them to only walk on clearly marked sidewalks or paths and cross the street only in marked crossings and to look left and right. They should know not to take any shortcuts, especially through a backyard, alley, or playing field, be specific. Don't let children use ear buds or any other electronic device that may impede hearing.
If you are interested in having a vacation check of your residence conducted while you are away, please come by the department during regular business hours. Below are some tips to keep your home safe while you are away:
- Do not publicize the fact that you are going away
- Put lights and a radio on timers
- Burn an outside light all night, not just when you are away
- Do not close your blinds or curtains, if you do not usually do so
- Do not stop deliveries, have a neighbor pick them up for you
- Make arrangements to have the lawn cut while you are away
- Turn your telephone ringer down to low or turn on the answering machine. Do not leave messages saying that you are on vacation or when you will return home
- Store items such as lawn furniture, garden tools, and hanging baskets in a secure area of your residence
- Ask neighbors to look out for your residence while you are away
- Consider asking a neighbour to park a vehicle in your driveway during your absence
- Leave a phone number with your neighbour where you can be contacted in case of emergency
Child Seat Laws:
There are a variety of different restrictions and rules regarding the type of seat or restraint your child needs when riding in a vehicle. All children under 16 years of age must be
Active Shooter Safety:
According to the FBI, there is a disturbing rise in the number of "active shooter" incidents across America. The FBI is basing its conclusion on data collected by a Texas State University researcher that was exclusively obtained by Scripps News. The data shows the number of active shooter events in the U.S. has tripled in recent years. Based on this information provided by the FBI and confirmed by other sources, the Burlington Police Department wants you to know certain things about how to protect yourself during an active shooter incident. You might find it helpful to review some of the resources provided by the Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
There is no magic solution that will eradicate, teen suicides, or accidental with firearms in the home. We can, however, reduce the likelihood of these tragedies occurring. The National Crime Prevention Council with various partners, developed a public education campaign that urges firearm owners to "Lock It Up". Safety advocates recommend that you safely store firearms from unsupervised children, at-risk youth, potential thieves, and those who intend to harm themselves or others. Please report lost or stolen firearms to local law enforcement. Gunstoppers.
Safety Tips for Firearm Handling:
There are basic tips to follow when you handle and/or own a firearm. Remember to always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire, and treat every gun as if it were loaded. Listed below are some more safety tips:
Parents, Talk Gun Safety with Your Children:
It is important to start a dialogue with your children about what to do if they find a gun.
SCHOOL BUS STOP LAW:
The Burlington Police Department is committed to protecting life and property within the City of Burlington by maintaining the safe movement of vehicles on City streets. The department seeks to accomplish this through education, enforcement, and by providing emergency assistance to motorists. In efforts to support our commitment to the community, the Burlington Police Department wishes to remind motorist that the 2019-20 traditional school year for Alamance -Burlington Schools has commenced.
The department is urging motorists not to drive distracted and to be mindful of school-aged youth near the roadways at bus stops or on sidewalks. Let's protect our students and slow down, leave earlier to avoid congested roadways, be respectful of other motorists, especially school buses.
Buses will be prevalent on roadways during the peak traffic times both before and after school; so know the law as it pertains to the passing of school buses. You can view this helpful School Bus Stop Law Diagram to better understand what to do when you see a stopped school bus.
For All Drivers:
For Students Who Walk/ Bike to School:
For Teen Drivers:
For Parents Students who Walk/ Bike to School:
Each year the Burlington Police Department, in partnership with the Burlington Fire Department, Alamance County EMS, and Alamance County Rescue, presents the Prom Promise programs. It is designed to raise student's awareness about the harmful effects of drinking and driving. The program has a mock car crash and examples of how drunk driving can hurt everyone, not just the driver.
Keeping our children safe is everyone's responsibility. Remember this - "It only takes a second of distraction to incur a lifetime of consequence." Please be safe. For more tips, check out the links below:
Safe Medicine Drop:
Citizens are encouraged to safely dispose of unused or expired medications as a part of Operation Medicine Drop, a partnership of North Carolina Safe Kids, lead by the NC Department of Insurance, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Agency. During Operation Medicine Drop events, people can drop off over-the-counter drugs, prescriptions, samples, and pet medications with no questions asked. Law enforcement partners will dispose of the medications in the same secure way they dispose of other drug items. Drugs should not be flushed or thrown away in the garbage because they may contaminate water sources. You may drop off your unused or expired medications at the police department year-round any time during business hours. Please drop off the medications in their originals bottles if possible but remember to remove any personal information from the label.
It 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 is basically neighbors watching out for each other. Its intention is to make criminals aware that if they commit a crime in a Community Watch Neighborhood, it will be reported to the police. It involves community members protecting themselves and their property by using common sense practices and neighbors getting to know each other, watching out for each other, and acting on or reporting suspicious activities. You can start your own community watch by contacting Officer Bobby Davis. He can provide you with the necessary materials and offer technical advice. Then Set up a meeting with as many neighbors as possible. Plan to meet in a church, school, or in someone's home. This Crime Prevention Kit is an excellent resource.
Citizens can sign up here to receive non-emergency updates from the city, tailored to your interests. You can receive crime prevention tips and crime alerts as well being able to sign up for severe weather and other types of notifications. Visit Notify Me to make sure your contact information is up to date, so you can keep up with the Burlington Police Department and with the City of Burlington.
The BPD is committed to ensuring everyone' safety and an enjoyable 4th of July. It is important to be aware of the ramifications of setting off illegal fireworks, ones that shoot into the air, and the effect they have on your neighborhoods. Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fire per year. They can increase PTSD symptoms for veterans and survivors of gun violence. They can increase anxiety and stress for pets. In 2017, the CDC issued a report that showed 12,900 fireworks related injuries or burns, $43 million in property damage and an average of 7 deaths each year. More information.