Keeping Yourself Safe in Samoa
- Staying alert is our primary defense against attack. A person who is attentive and observant is less likely to fall victim to criminal activity than someone who is unaware of his or her surroundings.
- Call for HELP or sound an alarm at the first sign that something unusual is happening or is about to happen. Raising an alarm or calling for HELP can deter potential attackers from continuing their attack.
- Do not drink heavily. An intoxicated person is an easier target for criminals.
- Keep a low profile. Do not wear fancy jewelry, show large sums of money, or use expensive electronic equipment in public. These items make you a more attractive target to criminals.
- Although you should always try to walk with your head up, scanning the surrounding area for suspicious persons or strange vehicles, in Samoa there are many sidewalks or pavements that are not in good condition so you should also watch where you walk. You should be looking up, not at your feet – stay alert.
- If possible, travel at night in groups. Larger numbers of people are a more difficult target for criminals.
- Avoid poorly lit areas, shrubbery, dark doorways or other places of where criminals can hide.
- Avoid short cuts through vacant lots, deserted parks and unlit alleys. Always try to walk where members of the public would see you.If using an ATM (especially at night), be aware of your surroundings and any persons nearby. Quickly conduct your transaction (shield your pin entry) and depart the area. Count your cash; inspect your receipt etc. later in a secure environment (home, office, etc.)
- Do not leave valuables in plain view. Put items like GPS units, IPods, etc. under the seat or in the glove-box.
- Park your car in well lit areas. If you park your car outside your home, try to park it where it can be seen from your house or where it will be in view of neighbors or passers-by.
- Avoid parking your car for long periods in places where criminals would have the opportunity to tamper with it without anyone seeing.
- Lock your car with the windows up when you are in the vehicle and when you leave the vehicle.
- Never open the door automatically – always check who is there first. Demand to know who it is before opening. Look through a window or door viewer first.
- Do not open a door if you are suspicious of the person. Call the police and alert others in the house of the situation. Demand identity cards from anyone who needs access to your home, such as meter-readers or workpeople, and watch them while they work.
- Never leave a key under the doormat, in the mailbox, or in other obvious places. Know exactly how many keys you have for your house, know where they are, and who has them at all times.
- Never leave keys with workpeople. Never leave your home while workpeople are working inside it.
- Never leave your keys in a position where someone could steal them, such as in the pocket of a coat you may hang-up in a changing room or restaurant.
- If your keys are stolen or if you lose them change the locks of outer doors immediately.
- Before you go to sleep, ensure all external doors and windows are locked.
- Always lock all external doors and windows before you leave the house, even if you are only going out for a few minutes. Include accessible upstairs windows.
- Always leave exterior lights and a light inside the house on at night.