03 Oct Security News: Tips for Increasing Neighborhood Safety
Reprinted from American Alarm
October is National Crime Prevention Month, and neighborhood safety is top-of-mind for many people. Residents can play a significant role in neighborhood safety. If everyone works together to monitor what’s happening, the neighborhood can remain safe for everyone. Here are some tips that will help increase neighborhood safety:
Make friends with your neighbors
The first step in creating a safe neighborhood is to get to know your neighbors. When you walk around the neighborhood, stop and talk to people along the way. Let them know your name and where you live. You can exchange phone numbers in case they are ever needed.
Another way to get to know your neighbors is to have a neighborhood block party. This brings everyone together for a good time and can help set the tone for a safe and enjoyable neighborhood experience.
Discuss neighborhood safety
Bringing up a topic such as neighborhood safety can be challenging with neighbors. It’s an uncomfortable subject but should be addressed. Hosting a neighborhood meeting is a good way to get everyone together and ensure you’re all on the same page. If people are interested, you may opt to start a neighborhood watch program.
According to McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, a meta-analysis found that neighborhood watch programs reduce crime by between 16 and 26%. Neighborhood watch has been shown to increase surveillance and enhance social control.
Other ideas to discuss include:
- Installing security cameras. Security cameras and systems not only protect individual homes but offer surveillance of surrounding homes and areas as well.
- Improving lighting on the street. If proper lighting is lacking on your streets, consider lobbying to have that changed.
- Installing motion-detector lights around homes.
- Keeping properties maintained so they look lived in and doors and windows are not blocked (by trees, for example), making it easy for someone to hide while breaking in.
Make plans when traveling
If you or a neighbor will be traveling, ask a trusted neighbor to pick up mail and newspapers if delivery hasn’t been paused. Neighbors can also check doors and windows to make sure everything is in order. Supply a trusted neighbor with a key so they can water plants, turn on lights for a while, and make your home appear taken care of.
Report suspicious activity
Knowing how to report suspicious activity is important for every member of the neighborhood. Supplying neighbors with contact information, such as a non-emergency number, will make them more likely to call in if they see anything suspicious around the neighborhood that might not be deemed a reason to call 911.
Let neighbors know what type of information is helpful to authorities, such as license plates; make, model, and color of cars; sounds heard (screaming, glass breaking); and a description of the person.
The best solution for a safe neighborhood, in addition to home security systems, is for residents to work together. By sharing ideas, tips, and looking out for one another, the neighborhood can be a place where everyone feels safe inside and outside of their home. During Crime Prevention Month, make it a priority to get together with your neighbors to discuss concerns and ideas.