12 Tips To Help Prevent Terrorist Attacks

According to the US Department of Homeland Security, prompt and detailed reporting of unusual or suspicious activities can help prevent violent crimes or terrorist attacks.

It has been asked how does one identify and report unusual or suspicious activity. When reporting suspicious activity, it is important to provide law enforcement the most accurate description possible. The acronym ALERT may prove helpful when reporting;

A – ctivity (physical descriptors of who you saw, and brief description of activity)

L – ocation

E – quipment (for example, vehicle make, model and color, license plate number, binoculars, video camera, unattended package/baggage, an overloaded vehicle)

R – ecognize (the difference between normal and abnormal behavior) Behavior is emphasized over appearance. Factors such as nationality, ethnicity, race, religious affiliation, appearance and/or language are NOT suspicious. Reporting should focus on observed behavior and situations, for example, but not limited to the following:

  • unusual attention or questions regarding buildings, people or operations beyond a casual or professional interest
  • someone loitering near or attempting to access a restricted area
  • unattended baggage/package
  • vehicle parked in an odd or unauthorized location
  • someone taking inappropriate photos/ videos or drawing annotated maps
  • someone who is overdressed for the type of weather/temperature
  • unusual chemical smells
  • know your neighbor – recognize those familiar faces you see on a regular basis and distinguish them from anyone unusual who does not have a reason to be there

T– ime (date, time, duration, frequency)

  • who regularly makes deliveries at work and in your neighborhood, and who does not
  • people arriving and leaving a residence at unusual hours, outside even the norms of student life
  • frequent turnover of individuals sharing a residence, or unrelated people of widely ranging ages living together

If you observe suspicious activity on campus, please call 911 and report the activity to UNC’s Department of Public Safety. If observed off-campus call 911 and submit your report to your local police department. You can report anonymously.