Safer neighborhoods require a bit of effort from the entire community. Whether you are in a high-end gated community or an area known for crime, everyone in the community can pitch in to make it a safer place to live.
1. Get to Know Your Neighbors
It seems like fewer people today go out of their way to get to know their neighbors. This can be one of the most effective tools to better understand the whole area. Once everyone has a working frame of reference to who lives where you can more easily spot behavior that is out of the ordinary. Take initiative and meet your neighbors at least to introduce yourself and express your desire to at least know everyone on the street by name if a block party isn’t something you can realistically plan.
2. Community Communication Apps
Many communities are using posting apps or Facebook groups to communicate what they are seeing in the neighborhood. Ask around and see if there are any existing groups you can join. If there isn’t one, consider setting one up. Being able to quickly communicate suspicious behavior can play a critical role in keeping an entire neighborhood safe.
3. Don’t Announce When You Leave Town on Social Media
Never ever broadcast when you’ll be out of town. In a Safewise study, 60% of the burglary victims said they were active on social media about when they were away.
Posting your plans is a perfect way for burglars to plan if they know a home is vulnerable. If you are not going to be around for a few days, tell your more trusted neighbors or those in your family or friend group that can stop by and pick up your mail and ensure the home is secure.
4. Keep Things Clean
Studies show time and time again that clean, orderly homes with well-taken-care-of yards deter crime. Keep your bushes trimmed, rock free of clutter, and remove any eye sores from the front of your home. If there are homes on your street of cul-du-sac that are continually unkempt, consider coming together as a neighborhood to help the homeowner tidy up. In some cases, the limitation is age or disability rather than a desire to have a well-groomed yard.
5. Get to Know Your Local Police department
Get to know your local police department and express to them your desire to make your neighborhood safe. Police appreciate feedback from the community to help focus their efforts. Normally they are approaching an area with general information about a community. The more specific things you can point out can make a big difference. You can also get information about joining or starting a Neighborhood Watch.