Crime Prevention

McGruff the Crime Dog and an officer


"By using some of these tips, you can help me take a bite out of crime"

-McGruff the Crime Dog

Crime & Crime Prevention in Nags Head

A common misconception by the general public is that nobody can control who may be the next victim of a crime. This belief is very prevalent in the Nags Head area due to it being a resort area and having a lower crime rate as compared to most cities. The fact of the matter is that all too often a victim of a crime is not someone who has been picked completely at random, but rather someone who has made themselves a more desirable target. What follows are some basic tips compiled by the National Crime Prevention Council and some tips which are specific to the Nags Head area of what you can do to better deter the criminal from choosing you as the next victim. By following some of these suggestions you will not be impervious to criminal activity, but your chances of being a victim should decrease.

General Tips

  • Use a door viewer before opening your door. Always demand identification from a stranger who comes to your home.
  • Always lock up before leaving your home.
  • Do not hide your keys outdoors anywhere.
  • Use interior and exterior lighting at all times.
  • Use well lit streets; not bushy areas or shortcuts for walking.
  • Carry signaling devices like shriek alarms or a whistle.
  • Do not carry large sums of money or wear expensive jewelry when walking.
  • If you think someone is following you, switch directions and head for a populated area.
  • Always look inside your car before entering it.
  • If you need to attract attention while in your car, honk the horn repeatedly.
  • Never pickup hitchhikers.
  • Always lock your car and never leave the keys inside it.
  • Never leave anything valuable inside your car.
  • Utilize an "etching program" and have your social security number or driver's license number engraved onto valuables to assist with identification.

Nags Head Area Tips

When staying at a hotel:

  • Never leave luggage unattended.
  • Lock your room windows and doors whenever you leave.
  • Do not leave cash or jewelry laying about when you leave the room.
  • Do not leave unsecured items on/in your vehicle (i.e.: fishing poles, beach chairs, etc.).

When at the beach:

  • Do not leave your items unattended.
  • Hide keys, money and other valuables in certain areas within your items so you do not lose them in the sand.
  • Make sure to lock your cottage or hotel room while at the beach.

When driving in Nags Head:

  • While driving on U.S.158, if traffic conditions permit, use the left lane for passing and the right lane for traveling.
  • Give yourself extra time to get to your destination in the summer months.
  • When trying to locate a destination or while sightseeing, continue to be aware of the traffic conditions around you.
  • When driving your four wheel drive vehicle on the beach have your permit displayed on the front of the vehicle and deflate your tires to at least 18 PSI (Beach driving in Nags Head is permissible only by permit between October 1st to May 1st and permits may be obtained at local tackle stores or the Town of Nags Head Municipal Complex:
    5401 S Croatan Highway
    Nags Head NC 27959
  • Always travel the posted speed limit.

While in Nags Head:

  • Pit fires are permissible on the beaches only after obtaining a free pit fire permit from the Nags Head Fire Division on the day you wish to have the fire.
  • Use of four wheeler ATVs on the beaches is illegal.
  • Stay at least 300 feet away from piers when surfing and your board must be leashed.
  • Dogs are permitted on the beaches as long as they are leashed.
  • Use of Pyrotechnics which explode or are self-propelled is illegal.
  • Use the multi-use path along NC Highway 12 and NC Highway 1243 for walking, jogging and biking.
  • Use of skateboards or roller blades on U.S. Highway 158 and NC Highway 12 is illegal.