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Staying safe on New Year's Eve | Crime

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Staying safe on New Year's Eve
Crime

SACRAMENTO, CA - Ensuring a safe and secure New Year's Eve can be as simple as following a few simple precautions.

"Keep your stuff close to you. I mean, that's the most important thing and be aware of what's happening around you," said Chris McSwain, Executive Director of the Old Sacramento Business Association.

Thousands will be crowding into Old Sacramento on New Years Eve to watch fireworks at 9 p.m. and midnight.

"I think people are safer in a crowd than they are by themselves and we have great crowds down here," said McSwain, who pointed out the relative safety and lack of crime over the last 12 years of the fireworks display.

Some tourists and visitors to Old Sacramento Sunday evening admitted the recent shootings in Portland and Newtown, Connecticut have put them on edge.

"I'm more aware of my surroundings, you know, how people are, if I notice anything strange," said Tami Hawck of Sacramento.

But police remind that such incidents are rare, and urge people to pay attention to avoiding much more common problems, like getting robbed or caught too close to a fight in a public area where drinking is going on.

"We like to see people move around in groups and not walking around talking on their cell phones, not being aware of their surroundings. For the ladies just dangling their purses down, that's not a good idea. The crimes that we do see are typically crimes of opportunity," said Captain Mike Bray with the Sacramento Police Department.

Other tourists agree they worry much more about minor crime than a violent incident like a shooting.

"Wrong place at the wrong time. I think I still have more likelihood of dying from a car accident then I do from a shooting," said Sue Srour of New Jersey.

Robert Watkins, of Sacramento, said the recent shootings have made him more circumspect about his personal safety in public places.

"I observe when I'm walking. I observe if people are watching me. See if someone's following me. I keep aware of my surroundings," said Watkins as he walked along a dark section of a wooden walkway in Old Sacramento.

Captain Bray said the most risky moments many may face on New Years Eve is if they decide to drink and drive.

"Have a designated driver. And that means that's not the person who drinks the least in the evening. That's somebody who doesn't drink at all," Bray said.

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