Those who tell themselves the following “famous last words” will often regret them:
- “I can safely crack my door to question that creepy looking stranger because I have a door chain between the door and doorjamb.”
- “I’ll call the number that this stranger has given me so that I can verify that he is here on legitimate business.”
- “There is no need to lock my apartment door, because I will be gone only a few minutes to empty my trash can.”
- “I have found a great place outside to hide the spare key to my house, and no criminal would ever find it.”
- “I am looking forward to a long, moonlit jog tonight as I listen to my favorite music through the earphones of my portable CD player.
- “I really enjoy the envious looks of others when I wear my expensive jewelry out in public.”
- “On nights like this one, I like to keep my car windows rolled down so that I can enjoy the feeling of the wind rushing through my hair.”
- “That motorist looks as if he has car problems and needs me to stop and help him.”
- “My tire went flat while I was shopping, and this great guy is offering to help me change it.”
- “Now that I have my money from the ATM, I had better count it immediately to make sure that the ATM machine has not shortchanged me.”
- “I feel a little lonely when I work late like this, but my boss will be impressed by all of the long days that I work.”
In all of the situations above the soon-to-be victims were either ignorant of the dangers of their attitudes, or in denial of their dangers, or both. Ignorance can be dispelled through study and experience. Denial is usually overcome when the person using this psychological defense mechanism is victimized or becomes aware that someone they know well has been victimized.
Crime prevention month is a good time for everyone to assess their expertise of and attitudes toward crime. In this day of shrinking police budgets, there is an increased threat of crime. Ignorance and denial will be especially dangerous with a reduced police presence.
Can you think of examples of famous last words that show ignorance or denial? Do you have any special plans for Crime Prevention Month? Please comment below.