Crime Prevention (8)
When a legal prescription is utilized by someone other than prescribed for or obtained through false means, it becomes an illegal substance.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation reports that
pharmacies dispense over 250,000 prescriptions for controlled substances on an annual basis. That is a lot of medicine that can fall into the wrong hands! Pitt County
The abuse of prescription medicine has unfortunately become a national crisis with its illegal usage surpassing marijuana use as the most widely used illegal substance.
Treatment admissions for such abuse, have skyrocketed from the mid 1990’s over 300% according to most research.
National studies indicate approximately 50% of youth 12 years and older obtained pain relievers from friends or relatives.
Proper disposal is something to consider. Simply throwing medicines in the trash or flushing them down the toilet does not end the risk these medicines pose. Both animals and people have been known for rummaging through trash and studies have shown that flushing medicines through the toilet have an environmental impact. In areas of high population density, fish living in the natural water system have exhibited signs of unisex characteristics that researchers attribute to the human excretions, primarily from reproductive medicines.
Trash If flushing is not mentioned as an acceptable disposal method, you should mix the pills with an undesirable substance (such as kitty litter, used coffee grounds, saw dust) and place the mixture into a disposable sealable container or bag before placing in the trash. Ensure you remove any personal information from the bottle itself, especially if refills remain.
Take Back Events In an effort to provide a safe disposal method for citizens, the Sheriff’s Office has been partnering with community organizations to conduct events that allow citizens to ‘drop-off’ their unused and unwanted medications. On average, thousands of pills are collected at each event. The oldest prescription we have received dated back to the 1960’s and was in a glass bottle.
Permanent Drop-off Box There is also a drop-off box located in the Sheriff’s Office courthouse lobby location where citizens can drop off quickly and anonymously. The address is
To find out about upcoming Operation Medicine Drop Events, check our Event Calendar or the North Carolina Safe Kids website.
Questions about the issue or events? Contact Melissia Larson: 252-902-2656
LAW ENFORCEMENT interested in the Permanent Disposal Box Program, please contact the person listed above for more information.
Online Fraud PreventionTo guard against identity theft, never give out your Social Security number. Treat it as confidential information.
Commit all passwords to memory. Never write them down or carry them with you. When using an ATM machine, make sure no one is hovering over you and can see you enter your password.
When participating in an online auction, try to pay the seller directly with a credit card so you can dispute the charges if the merchandise does not arrive or was misrepresented. If possible, avoid paying by check or money order.
Adopt an attitude of healthy skepticism toward websites that offer prizes or giveaways. Chances are, all that’s been “won” is the opportunity to buy something you didn’t want in the first place.
Learn more about consumer protection and fraud from the Office of the North Carolina Attorney General.
Protecting Our Children Online
Choose a commercial online service that offers parental control features.
Tell your children never to give out their address telephone number password school name or any other personal information.
Make sure your children know to never agree to meet face-to-face with someone they’ve met online without discussing it with you. Only if you decide that it’s okay to meet their “cyber-friend” should they arrange to meet this person, and then the meeting should be in a familiar public place in the presence of a trusted adult.
Tell your children never to respond to messages that have bad words, are scary, or just seem weird.
Tell your children never to enter an area that charges for services without asking you first.
Tell children never send a picture of themselves to anyone without your permission.
Make sure that access to the Internet at your children’s school is monitored by adults.
Visit the North Carolina Department of Justice website for more information on protecting children using the internet and selecting child friendly search engines.
Statistics show that the older you get, the less likely you are to be a victim of crime. But it still makes sense to take precautions, especially against fraud and con games, which are the greatest crime threats for seniors.
Senior Safety Begins at Home
- Install and use good locks on doors and windows.
- Don't hide keys under the doormat, in the mailbox or in a planter. Leave an extra set with a neighbor.
- When service or delivery people come to your door, ask for ID, and check with their company if you're still not sure.
- Make sure the street number on your house is large, well-lighted and unobstructed so emergency personnel can find your home quickly.
- If you decide to install an alarm system, consider one that is monitored for burglary, fire and medical emergencies.
Stay Safe When You Go Out
- Go out with family or friends rather than by yourself.
- Hold your purse close or keep your wallet in an inside front pocket.
- Don't carry large amounts of cash or unneeded credit cards.
- Use a direct deposit service for Social Security and other regular checks.
- Keep car doors locked, be watchful in parking lots and garages, and try to park in well-lighted spots near entrances.
- Sit near the driver or the exit when riding on a bus, train or subway.
- If a person or situation makes you nervous, get away.
Don't Fall for Con Artists' Tricks
- If it sounds too good to be true — free vacation, miracle cure, sure-fire investment — avoid it.
- It is illegal for telemarketers to ask for credit card, Social Security, phone card or bank account numbers to verify prizes, so if anyone asks, don't give it to them.
- If someone tries to rush you into signing an insurance policy, sales contract or anything else, be suspicious. Read it carefully and have a trusted friend check it, too.
- Some con artists pose as representatives of companies or government agencies that, for a fee, recover money lost to fraudulent telemarketers. Don't fall for this trick.
- When in doubt, check it out by calling the police, the Better Business Bureau, the local consumer protection office, or the
at 800-876-7060. National Consumers League Fraud Information Center
Things You Can Do in Your Community
- Report any crimes or suspicious activities to police.
- Join a Neighborhood Watch program to help protect your community.
- Get involved in activities that can make your community a better place, like mentoring children, serving as a volunteer aide for the police or fire department, or escorting disabled persons.
- Check for a Triad program in your community. It partners seniors with law enforcement agencies to prevent crime against the elderly and to give support to law enforcement personnel. It is sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriffs Association (NSA). Get details from your AARP chapter, local police or by calling NSA at 703-836-7827.
Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, occurs when one person causes physical or psychological harm to a current or former intimate partner. It includes all acts of violence within the context of family or intimate relationships. Domestic violence is not confined to any one socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, racial or age group and knows no geographic or educational boundaries.
Websites of Interest
If you have a question about domestic violence, please contact one of our Victim Advocates:
DARE: Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The program mission is to educate our youth on positive strategies to resist drugs and avoid violence. Each year, hundreds of fifth graders complete this valuable program. This resistance program is made possible through our partnerships with various local businesses.
DARE currently serves 12 elementary schools;Ayden, Chicod, Belvoir, Grifton, G.R. Whitfield, Northwest, Pactolus, Sam D. Bundy, Stokes, and W.H. Robinson.
Start a Community Watch in 5 Easy Steps:
* Recruit and Organize as many neighbors as possible
* Discuss community concerns and develop an action plan
* Hold regular meetings and train yourselves
* Implement a phone tree and take action steps
Contact us in the Community Impact Division