The Boise Police Department says there were two reports of sexual assault that were recanted in the past few weeks. But officers want to make sure anyone who has been the victim of a crime is not afraid to make a report. The Department also works hard to prevent crimes, like rape and sexual assault, before they happen.
When it comes to crime, there’s no one thing that will keep a person safe from becoming a victim. But the BPD offers classes to anyone who wants to get safety tips when it comes to violent crimes like rape.
There were 107 rapes reported in Boise last year. That number has stayed fairly steady for the past four years.
We had the opportunity to talk to Angie Munson. She’s a Detective in the Special Victims Unit at BPD. She’s been an officer for 27 years and has worked on over 2,000 of cases, most of them sex and violent crimes.
Munson does a lot of education with youth organizations, for young men and women. Religious youth groups also ask for the classes.
Munson says she’s talked to thousands of kids in the community. She says adolescents have a hard time because they’re getting more free time away from their parents and learning to make safety decisions on their own, without having a lot of direct guidance.
“So to have someone besides Mom and Dad, or a school teacher, tell them, hey, these are things you can do to minimize your risk. They can help keep you on the safer side of the street,” Munson says.
To begin, Munson says to “use a lot of common sense.” She says much of what they teach is not complicated, but rather very straightforward.
Stick together when going out; this is an important refrain for Munson.
“Whether you’re a youth or an adult, there’s always safety in numbers.”
She also advises extra caution, if alcohol or drugs are part of a night out.
“If you’re going to use substances that might be mind altering, whether legal or not, you should always have a buddy who is sober. You should always have somebody you can count on that you can go out with that can make sure you’re in the right place at the right time.”
If you’re going to go somewhere, she says let someone know where you plan to go. Munson has a couple of adult friends who check in with her when they plan to be out of town. They tell her where they are going and when they plan to be back.
“Just to let someone know where they’re going to be,” she says. “If you live alone, you get to a point where you think you don’t have to report to someone, but it’s really nice to have someone checking in on you.”
She says these are just a few of the tips she gives to people about how to stay safe.
“Those things sound pretty basic, but you would be surprised at how much safety they provide for someone.”
Munson says it’s easy to get complacent in Boise, “because Boise is a really safe city. We tend to think all is well and we’re safe wherever we go. We hope that that’s the case, but there are things people can do for personal responsibility to make sure they mitigate the risk they’re taking.”
If you want BPD to provide a safety class, or walk through your home and give you safety tips, just go to their webpage.
Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio
Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio