After a number of recent social media posts warning of a suspicious male, Whistler police have released some safety tips if a stranger approaches or confronts you.
In a release Thursday, Dec. 10, police said they have “become aware of social media posts of a suspicious male(s) approaching females while they are walking, running, or participating in community activities,” the statement read. “Whistler RCMP actively engage in these investigations when reported to us and request that anyone report suspicious persons or activities to the police right away.”
A handful of recent posts to the Whistler Winter Facebook group warned of a suspicious man, including one from Dec. 6 advising any woman that was approached by a man at a Creekside gym or contacted by him afterwards to not respond.
Whistler RCMP offered some safety tips, adding that “the most important thing, in any situation, is to be aware of your surroundings at all times and trust your instincts.”
When walking, running or otherwise engaging in outdoor activities, Mounties advice is to:
• Plan your route to avoid isolated areas.
• Wear reflective clothing, or use a flashlight or headlamp.
• Have a whistle.
• Take a cellphone to call 911.
• Talk on the phone with a friend while walking home.
• Vary your route if possible; don’t be predictable.
• Plan ahead for a safe ride home or use transit.
• If you think you are being followed, walk into a store, restaurant, police station, fire station medical centre or to a lighted home.
• Plan your outdoor activities with a friend.
• Have a walking buddy.
• If you’re using earphones, only use them in one ear.
• Keep your head up and look confident.
• Tell others when you are going and when you are expected home.
• Call 911.
If a stranger confronts you:
• Act on your gut feelings. If someone gives you a bad feeling, tell him or her clearly to leave you alone, and walk away.
• If a stranger stops their car to ask you for directions, do not approach the car. If you want to provide directions, do so from a distance.
• Yell if you are under attack. Keep yelling, repeatedly. Yell as loud as you can. Scream. Be noisy.
• Call 911.