Crime Prevention

Bluefield State College and the Office of Public Safety, take great measures to build on the safety record of the community of Bluefield and the State of West Virginia. The college believes that members of the Bluefield campus community can assist in keeping themselves from harm by utilizing prescribed safety precautions and by educating themselves about the frequency and type of security breaches which occur on college property. Public Safety will record and annually publish statistics on crime.

Students are encouraged to exercise common sense regarding personal safety. Each student must take an active part in his or her own personal safety and the safety of other community members.

Public Safety Officers work closely with professional staff personnel on campus. Both the Officers and the staff members on duty are available to receive emergency telephone calls from anyone on campus or associated with the College. All Public Safety Officers have direct radio contact with local law enforcement agencies. To encourage accurate reporting of crimes and incidents, a formalized Incident Report is completed after each known event (when the victim allows us to report the crime).

Personal Safety

Your safety is a top concern. Below are several tips/suggestions for how you can make your immediate environment safer. 

  1. Do not walk alone! The Office of Public Safety will provide escorts for any students on campus. 
  2. Do not walk in dimly lit areas or take risky shortcuts. Use well-traveled and well-lit walking paths.
  3. Do not carry or flash around large sums of money. This can attract unwanted attention.
  4. Do not wear earphones, especially at night while walking and/or driving. This can prevent you from hearing what's going on around you. 
  5. If you feel that you are being followed or sense something is wrong, change directions or cross the street and head for a well-lit area, any occupied building and/or to an emergency phone.
  6. If you are threatened yell "FIRE" and not "HELP." In today's society, the word "FIRE" attracts more attention. 
  7. Do not overload yourself with excessive books/personal items when walking.
  8. Know where all emergency phones are located on campus and keep your cellphone close so 911 can be called.
  9. Be aware of your surroundings.

Office Safety

Victims in crimes of this nature are victims of opportunity. A thief will find an open and empty office and take whatever he/she thinks is worthwhile. This is also true of attackers. Our goal is to increase your awareness of this possible issue and give you some tips/suggestions to avoid becoming a victim of this crime.

  1. Don't leave valuables in your desk or locker. If this is impossible, keep them in a cabinet which is kept locked at all times.
  2. Safeguard credit cards and try to keep a list of what credit cards you have (in a separate place) with contact information for the credit card company so that if necessary it can be reported as lost/stolen.
  3. Don't leave your work area/office unattended at anytime unless you close and lock your door. 
  4. Never allow anyone to remove items from your office until the person has been identified as an employee of the institution and the removal has been authorized. 
  5. Maintain an accurate inventory of personal items as well as supplies and equipment in your work area.
  6. Keep all storage areas and desk drawers locked except when needed.
  7. Maintain an up to date list of personnel who have access to your particular work area.
  8. Keep all storage areas and desk drawers locked except when needed.
  9. Maintain an up to date list of personnel who have access to your particular work area. Double check when an employee leaves or is terminated that all keys are returned.
  10. Report all crime or suspicious situations immediately to the Office of Public Safety. 

Electronic Device Safety

Laptops, tablets, an other electronic devices have always been a target for criminals. This is because they are small, valuable, and easy to conceal after being stolen. There is also not just the cost of replacing the electronic device, but all your personal information that was stored on the device. Here are a few tips/suggestions to avoid becoming a victim of this crime. 

  1. Don't leave the device in an unlocked vehicle, even if the vehicle is in your driveway/garage. Never leave it in plain sight, even if the vehicle is locked. If you must leave your device in the vehicle, the best place would be in the trunk. If you don't have a trunk, cover it up and lock the doors. 
  2. Be aware of the damage that can be done to electronic devices by extreme temperatures. 
  3. Carry your electronic device in a nondescript carrying case, briefcase, or bag when moving about. 
  4. Apply distinctive paint markings to your electronic device to make it unique and easily identifiable. 
  5. Be aware that if your electronic device is stolen, automatic log-ins can make it easy for a thief to access your information and possibly sent out inappropriate messages/emails from your device.

Book Theft

One of the biggest expenses of attending college is the cost of textbooks. The average student spends $250-300 per semester on textbooks. Because textbooks are sold back for cash, they are an easy target for thieves. Here are some tips/suggestions to use to keep from having your textbooks stolen. 

  1. Never leave your books or book bag unattended.
  2. Write your name on the inside cover of the book and possibly on several pages in the margin to help identify if the book if it is stolen.
  3. Make a list of your books and include the name of the book, type of book, the author, and any identifying marks to help identify it. 
  4. Report any book theft to the bookstore and the Office of Public Safety as soon as possible. Delaying will decrease the likelihood of recovering your books.

Elevator Safety

Elevator safety is also important and can be applied to anywhere, not just the college. Here are some tips/suggestions for you. 

  1. Look inside the elevator before you get in to make sure no one is hiding inside. 
  2. Stand near the elevator controls if possible.
  3. Get off if someone suspicious enters.
  4. If you are concerned by someone waiting on the elevator at the same time as you, act as if you have forgotten something and don't get on the elevator. 
  5. Use the help phones in the elevator. They are there in case of emergencies and if you need them, use them

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips

  1. Stay in a group or use the buddy system; there is safety in numbers.
  2. Don’t go off campus or back to campus with people you do not know or trust.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings and have an “exit strategy” (e.g. back up ride, taxi #, etc.).
  4. Always carry room keys with you, be aware of where you are going, and know a quick and safe way home whenever practical. 
  5. Be aware that 90% of sexual assault victims are familiar with the perpetrator.
  6. Take a self-defense class. Most people who take self-defense courses feel empowered to handle more serious situations.
  7. Do not leave a drink unattended and/or accept a drink that you have not poured/mixed yourself.
  8. Be mindful of your alcohol intake. Know alcohol and drugs can impair the ability to make good decisions. It can also lower inhibitions.