DISCLAIMER: This article doesn’t reflect the position of the Liberia National Police in anyway or manner, therefore I take responsibility for this publication.
Having seen our people being victimized on a daily basis owing to the lack of education or sensitization on Personal security, I am moved to write this article on Personal Security (PS).
In my mind, PS as a concept are those measures or procedures one’s put into place to protect him or herself, Family, and properties against crimes or any form of danger.
Personal Security first received attention in the 1970s when research was conducted aimed at forming a stable world order, one that would approach the issue of security from the point of view of individuals. In 1995, the United Nations published a report titled “Our Global Neighborhood” which determined that the idea of global security should move away from states and move towards individuals.
Additionally, Janusz Gierszewski, a Polish Scholar in his research paper titled ‘’ Personal security within the human security paradigm’’ mentioned that personal security origin can be traced as far back as 1941 when former American’s President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed human rights considering four types of freedom inherent to everyone, freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship God in one’s own way, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
Personal Security is very important, therefore it should be taken into consideration every second, minute, and hour. This is because within a split second, we could be affected by crime or any form of danger.
Definition of measures
Someone reading this article might ask, what do we consider personal security measures, or what are the measures we need to put into place that is personal security related? Security personal Measures or procedures are relatively simple and easy to apply or put into place, for example; with the alarming cases of hacking, don’t share your password with anyone. Additionally, ensure that your password is changed at least monthly. Allowing your friend or relative to have access to your password is very wrong and might even land you into problem. There have been several cases reported to the police, where employees from various institutions had used their colleagues’ passwords to enter in the system and carried out dubious transactions, thus causing owners of those passwords to face stringent punishments, ranging from suspension to dismissal, and subsequent prosecution. At every point in our lives, personal security should be observed and taken seriously, irrespective of being at work, home, or other functions. While at work, it is important to avoid ensuing situations that might cause harm or danger to your person, thus impeding your ability to return home. Personal security also has to do with the security of our documents. Sometimes we put our documents places where we encountered though time to locate, and sometimes we don’t locate them at all. Personal Security provides us an enlightenment of simple things we need to do to save ourselves, families, and properties from harm or danger. We should at all times ensure that our documents are well kept and protected at our places of work. Sometimes, we see some folks crossing the car road with phones to their ears and having serious conversation, this is totally wrong and against the concept of personal security. Research has shown that sometimes phone’s conversation caused us to be emotional, thus making us to lose concentration and sometimes lead us into harm’s way. That’s while we should avoid crossing road with phones at our ears in keeping with personal security concept.
Personal security for our homes is an important aspect in our lives. We should at all times consider the security of ourselves, families, and properties. How do we do that? During the night times, we should properly check our doors and windows of our respective homes to ensure they are properly locked to avoid criminal intruders.
Always familiarized yourself with your homes by knowing the entrance, exit, and all other points and corners even in the absence of light. Keep lights on around your house during night hours. Never get accustomed to using one road, when in fact there are several roads. For Law Enforcement officers that carried fire arms or those that are certified by law to possess fire arms, bear in mind that your fire arms should always be kept from the reach of children and people that don’t have knowledge about said weapon, to avoid harm or danger to your children or any member of the family. Never play with or clean your fire arms when the children are around, why? Out of curiosity they might endeavor to locate same in your absence and play with the said firearm, thus causing it to discharge that might lead to injury or death. Avoid digging wall or septic tank in your yard and leaving same open, while children are in the vicinity. When the children are playing they might fall and get injured or drown. Of course, too many of such incidents had been attention to the police, using Liberia as a case study. It is equally important to avoid sitting to entertainment centers and reading out scratch card numbers to your spouse, children, or any other relatives, you never know, someone sitting next to you that has criminal mind might copy said number and use same at your disadvantaged, it is better to text it. Similarly, it is important to note; that being at an entertainment center or any social gathering and disclosed about receiving huge sum of money is counterproductive to the concept of personal security, and might cause criminal/s to trace and attack whosoever that does. Whenever you think about the safety of yourself, your family and your properties, think about PS. If we are to consider our personal security, we should at all times observe our surroundings, and ensure that those simple safety and security measures are put into place. One important personal security measure we often put into placed to secure our properties is the installation of CCTV, provided if you can afford. Observation has shown that some people preferred to conceal the CCTV than to make it visible. This is a wrong concept, the CCTV serves as security aid for our properties, and therefore it should be visible as a deterrence.
Henceforth, here are PS measures that we often overlooked, thus putting our security at risk.
Avoid keeping generators on in your homes, when in fact there is no exit point for the smoke to get out, doing so might cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
When forever you take your vehicle to mechanic for repairs work, after its completion ensure to carryout basic inspection to include, the checking of the lug nuts on the four tires, checking of the wheel ring and jack etc.
Avoid placing razors and knives where they can easily be reached by kids, doing so might cause kids to sustain serious bodily injuries that might even lead to death.
When using mosquito coil, don’t place it in a position where there are cloths or combustible materials, doing so might cause fire outbreak.
Avoid keeping gasoline in gallons in your respective homes.
Avoid playing with your phones on the street during night hours, doing so might expose your phones to criminals, and you might become a victim of a crime.
Avoid sending kids to buy stuffs when they have to cross the road, by doing so they risk being hit by car.
Avoid driving while you are under the influence of alcohol, doing this might lead to accident.
Don’t allow your kids to be out of your sight for more than two hours.
Avoid taking your kids to gatherings or sports ground where there are over crowdedness.
Don’t allow your kids to go alone to the creek, swamp or river for swimming desire.
Avoid sending nude photos and videos to people you have not seen in persons, or had physical contact with, said photo or video might land in the hands of cyber criminals that might use same for black mailing purposes.
Don’t give credence to anyone calling and informing you that a handsome reward has been won by you, when in fact you haven’t participated in any raffle draw or the playing of lottery, and that you should send some cash via mobile money to expedite the presenting of said purported reward.
Note, that it is a criminal scam otherwise known as 419 scam intended to steal from you.
Having provided an enlightenment on the importance of personal security, it is important to state that our adherence to the above mentioned will definitely keep ourselves, families, and properties safe and secure from harm and further danger.
Avoid keeping lights on in your homes at night when you are asleep, which will prevent intruders (criminals) from gaining easy entry or having a clear view.
Written by: Monroe A. Dennis ll, BPA, P.G.DPA, C.ACJ
Criminal Investigator/Liberia National Police