No community is 100 percent crime-free. A university campus is not unlike any other community with the same problems and concerns.
Although the incidence of serious crime at Webster University is relatively low, the Public Safety Department encourages all members of the university community to learn good crime prevention habits.
Most crimes are crimes of opportunity and can be avoided with a little planning and common sense. Good crime prevention is simply teaching people how to avoid becoming victims. Public Safety recognizes the types of problems which occur on campus and designs its crime prevention programs to respond to these situations.
Always lock your doors and windows in your room, apartment or house. Most thefts on campus occur in unlocked residence hall rooms, when the occupant has stepped out for "only a minute." Trespassing or assault incidents which have occurred at residences almost always have occurred when the residences were unlocked.
Hide cash, valuables, etc. in an out-of-the-way location known only to you. When you leave your house, apartment, etc., close the shades and leave a light and radio on in your absence to give the impression the residence is occupied. Place a rider on your homeowner's insurance to cover all items of value you bring to the university. For a small fee, you can protect yourself against major losses.
If you encounter a difficulty (trespasser, theft, damage, etc.) in your campus or off campus residence (room, apartment, etc.), immediately call Public Safety (on campus x6900) or off campus 314-968-6900 even if it turns out to be a false alarm. It is better to be safe.
Secure your bicycle with a heavy duty chain (quarter inch links) and padlock (1/4 inch shank) to a bike rack or immovable object. These are the strongest deterrents to theft. Wrap the chain around the bike frame and tires, if possible.
Motor Vehicle Security
Always lock your motor vehicle. Never leave the keys in it or leave it running unattended. Do not store valuable items in your vehicle but if you must, always lock these items in the trunk. A steering wheel locking bar is a good deterrent to the auto thief. Keep an extra vehicle identification (registration) card in a location other than your auto.
When departing your vehicle, always lock the door. When returning, have your keys ready, observe any unusual activity near the auto, enter and lock your door immediately.
Personal Safety and Security
Many crimes occur because people are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Avoid people and situations which may invite trouble. Trust your instincts and trust your university authorities. When in doubt, call Public Safety.
When traveling at night, travel in a group or use the campus escort service. Stay on well lit, well used streets and plan your travel. Avoid short cuts and isolated areas. Know where the emergency call boxes on campus are located and don't hesitate to use them even if it turns out to be a false alarm.
If you suspect someone may be following you, look at the person so the person knows you are alert. Be alert to your surroundings at all times and act confident. If you are followed, change directions, go to the nearest store, or knock on the nearest house door and request someone call the police or Public Safety. Note a description of the person following you. If you are approached or attacked, run away if necessary.
If an automobile is following you, change directions, look at the license plate number and remember it. Go to a store or the nearest house for assistance.
When walking or on a trip, place your cash, credit cards and valuables in a safe, hard to find location (inside pocket). Public Safety staff are available to assist you with planning your travel safely to new locations or cities with which you are not familiar.
Thieves know the best places for successful thefts. On a campus, these are unlocked residence hall rooms or unlocked apartments, libraries (unattended bookbags and belongings) gym locker rooms and parking lots. Do not bring valuables or cash you do not need to these places. Identify your textbooks with your name, address and a code on a certain page.