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Criminal Library: Crime Prevention

Whether they are children or adults, people can easily fall prey to crime. Crime can range in severity from old-fashioned breaking and entering to more elaborate and sophisticated cyber-crimes that involve the use of computers and the Internet. These types of occurrences happen on a daily basis around the country and deeply affect the lives of the victims. This is particularly true for crimes that involve money, violence or that have the potential to become violent. Fortunately, people do not have to be victims of these types of occurrences. There are measures that both children and adults can take to prevent crimes from occurring in the first place.

When it comes to preventing crimes against younger children, awareness is the key. Young children can be particularly susceptible to predators whose ultimate goal may be kidnapping or sexual assault. It is important that parents teach their children how to behave around strangers and what they must look out for in terms of the actions and behaviors of others, particularly adults. Criminals may also see children as an easy way to gain entrance into a home for the purpose of robbery as well. Children should also be taught to be cautious around other kids and teenagers, who may also commit crimes against them or involve them in committing crimes against others. In addition, close friends of the family, relatives or even a parent can commit a crime against a child. Over three million cases of child abuse are reported every year, with as many as five child abuse-related deaths occurring every day. Parents should encourage children to discuss any concerns that they may have regarding any adult, regardless of who they are.

The Internet is another source of criminal activity that children should be made aware of. Cybercrimes can result in the theft of personal information and even the abduction of children. Parents should teach their children how to safely surf the Internet, including what types of websites to avoid, what information can and cannot be shared, and the kinds of emails or attachments that should or should not be opened. It is also important that parents warn their children about interacting with others while online as criminals often pretend that they are kids themselves in order to gain the trust of children. One of the fastest growing forms of crime on the Internet is online scams. Because most people with bank accounts and significant amounts of money to spend are adults, they are the most commonly targeted by thieves who wish to rip people off behind the anonymous cloak of the Internet. Nevertheless, both children and adults need to be aware of what constitutes a scam, as no one is safe from being sought out as a potential victim.

When it comes to crime prevention and adults or older children, such as teenagers, many of the same concerns apply. People who fall within this group must also be aware of their surroundings and the actions of others in order to successfully prevent crime from occurring. Adults can take further measures to avoid becoming victims of crime by taking steps such as altering their daily routines, avoiding dark, secluded areas at night or when alone, safeguarding private or personally identifiable documents and keeping their homes, cars and other valuables secure. Even setting lights on a timer so that they will go on or off can act as a deterrent to criminals who may believe that a home is occupied when it is not. As with children, adults must also be cautious when using the Internet and they can take steps to prevent online crime from occurring. When making purchases over the Internet, adults will want to make certain that they are shopping from websites that are secure and well-known in order to keep their credit card numbers out of the hands of criminals.

Diana Weiss Aizman

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