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VPD Warning: Sexual Assault on Vancouver West Side

March 8th, 2011 | by admin admin | in News |    0   comments

Scanning headlines can be discouraging. Last week, the Vancouver Police warned the public about a sexual assault near West 10th and Alma. A 22-year-old Asian male, medium build with shaggy hair, followed and then groped a 21-year-old woman walking home from the bus stop. Fortunately, her angry shouts scared him off. In the past month, there have also been warnings about a child sex offender and purse snatchers.

So is Vancouver now too dangerous to call home? Not really. We are, after all, the “most livable city in the world.” Any large city has its share of crime, and with some planning and sensible habits, you can minimize your chances of being a victim.

Many of our tips about protecting yourself against purse snatchers, also apply to this latest warning. Be aware of your surroundings and look confident. If you’re aware of someone following you, cross the street and turn around to get a good look at the person. The University of Ottawa also offers this advice for students:

  • Avoid travelling home alone from bars or parties.
  • Organize safe and reliable transportation back home, and always carry enough cash for a taxi or bus ride. Ensure a friend or family member knows when and where to expect you. Consider arranging for a taxi to meet you when you get off a bus.
  • Keep your cell phone handy.
  • If you must return home alone, be sure to walk on busy, well-lit streets. Steer clear of shortcuts, isolated side streets, and dark pathways.
  • Ask other pedestrians and shop owners for help.

And, as the victim did in this latest case, get a good look at the person, so that you can describe the perpetrator to the police. Call out for help if you suspect you’re in danger. Don’t be afraid to make a lot of noise or create a scene. Remember, she did, and he ran.

Your thoughts on crime in Vancouver? Post a comment below.

Author: Susanna Chu

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