Neighborhood safety is not only for personal well-being and the safety of a property. It is expensive to recover from a burglary financially, and the mental weight of feeling unsafe at home may never go away. As burglars tend to continue in areas they have no reason to leave, you could get robbed more than once. Thus, co-operating with your neighbors to make the area safer is in everyone’s best interests. In the long term, the improved safety of the area will also raise housing prices which will make your home more desirable to buyers at a higher resale price for you.
While laws and rules exist to suppress criminal intent, it is often a reality that desperate people commit most robberies in small neighborhoods. By understanding this and contributing towards community efforts to help people with hunger and housing, you can significantly improve community well-being and safety. Work with your neighbors and charity organizations to set up community soup kitchens and collect goods for shelters. Even something simple like volunteering at the community center helps reduce many reasons people, especially young people, feel like they have no choice but to rob others.
Work with Community Law Enforcement
Young people in bad neighborhoods fear law enforcement. Form a neighborhood watch to patrol the neighborhood and work with the local police station to coordinate these patrols.
If your neighborhood watch organization contributes towards police welfare funds such as purchasing police gear or a police siren, they will be much more inclined to participate in your activities. The criminal factor will reduce once they see that real police officers accompany the patrols. Any person in a suspect situation is also less likely to escalate the situation with so many witnesses in the form of the neighbors being with the police.
Working with the police in the area will also allow them to better understand the neighborhood and its people. This can help them to prioritize daily patrols in the area even without the neighborhood watch accompanying them. This will further make the area less likely to be inhabited by criminal elements as they would find it risky to operate in patrolled neighborhoods.
Form Friendships with Neighbors
Community safety is not just about knowing who your neighbors are; it is about familiarity. Organize community meet-ups and backyard barbecues so that the neighbors can all meet and form closer relationships with each other.
This will help the neighbors to know when someone looks suspiciously out of place. This kind of vigilance can come in handy in other ways as well. Elderly neighbors can be checked in on, and neighbors with young children can organize play dates to give mothers a break on an alternating basis.
Getting the neighbors together is also a great way to teach children about traffic safety rules, pool safety rules, and stranger danger. The adults can discuss safety measures they would like to implement, like alarm systems, car alarms, or changes to the neighborhood watch patrols. These types of situations are easier to discuss and settle in a relaxed community-focused environment.
Add a Phone Tree to the Neighborhood Watch
A phone tree system is a good way to alert the neighborhood when a crime has occurred. It can help the neighbors be alert to suspicious behaviors or cars and send help to the affected parties.
Phone tree alerts also help to disseminate information about the way the robbery or attack happened. This means that neighbors can learn to avoid the scenarios or stay extra vigilant. It could even lead to the criminals getting caught if they attempt the same mode of operations a second time.
Lit yards with short hedges and bushes offer very little space for hiding. If someone were to move across a clear yard in the light, they would be easily visible from the street and the neighbors on both sides. This will deter anyone who intended to approach the house.
You can create a fund with your neighbors to hire a yard cleaning service to come out and do the work so that every neighbor benefits and everyone can feel safe. If finances are a concern, you could help organize the young people in the neighborhood into doing the yard clearing once a month and reward their work with a pizza party.
Keeping the windows covered with curtains or blinds cuts off the view into your house that a burglar could use to determine if they want to rob you or not. Keeping your curtains drawn with soft light illuminating it is also a good way to give the impression that people are home when you are at work or traveling.