This from the Safe, inc. newsletter.
What Exactly is Suspicious Activity?
Part II in a series of articles on suspicious activities
By Rob Mackenzie, SAFE Security Specialist
Last month's article, "The Importance of Reporting Suspicious
Activity" explained that timely reporting of suspicious activity to
police is important as a preventive measure. This is because we are
more likely to observe some suspicious activity associated with a
crime rather than to witness the actual criminal act being
committed - - - But witnesses are often reluctant to report
suspicious activity because they are unsure it is actually associated
with a crime. Let's discuss the nature of suspicious activity.
Suspicion is an intuitive perception that something is wrong. You may
first notice suspicious activity as something unusual, and possibly
unsettling. If you sense danger, you should take action to avoid
injury; which you may find yourself doing reflexively. A general
example of suspicious activity might be a person looking for, or
cultivating, opportunities to commit a crime. Usually the only way to
fully confirm or negate a suspicion is for a police officer to check
it out. The exception is when the witness sees further activity that
develops into an obvious criminal act, or sees something else that
provides justification for the activities witnessed.
Two factors help to recognize suspicious activities: active awareness
and familiarity with the locale. Area familiarity may include
knowledge of the usual patterns of traffic, type and pace of
activities, and the usual problem areas at different times within a
given environment. This accumulated knowledge combined with the
present context of our observation can help us to decrease or
increase our level of suspicion. We can see why residents of a
neighborhood are usually better equipped than are visitors and people
passing through to recognize suspicious activity in the area.
Two examples of suspicious activities:
Person(s) meddling around the periphery of a property, looking into
windows or yards, cars, etc. - - - - Potential Burglary
Very high rate of human traffic in and out of a certain residence,
especially at odd hours - - - - Possible drug or prostitution
If you notice suspicious activities or a crime in progress, dial 9-1-
1. For all other non-emergencies, dial (415) 553-0123.
Please check out the website, www.sfsafe.org