Community Crime Prevention
Neighborhood crime reduces property values, hurts local businesses, breeds fear in residents, and stretches law enforcement resources thin. Approaching crime prevention as a group effort is the key to successfully implementing positive changes in your community. Below are some strategies that can help strengthen your community against crime.
- Organize community improvement projects. These can be as simple as picking up trash at a local park or playground or painting a mural over graffiti. Areas where residents are actively working together to improve the community’s appearance and quality of life are less attractive targets for criminals and vandals, who tend to prefer the path of least resistance.
- Start teen organizations in the community. Create groups where teens can interact safely with one another, explore their interests, share their problems, and participate in organized activities. Sports teams, hobby clubs, and study groups are just a few examples of organizations that can help keep teens out of trouble and channel their energy into productive pursuits.
- Start neighborhood/community watch groups. Watch groups play an important role in crime prevention. Watch group members serve as extra eyes and ears for the police by keeping a protective lookout over neighboring homes, businesses, and public areas and reporting suspicious activity to authorities.
- Get involved in the community. Volunteer as a teen mentor or tutor. Help organize a food or clothes drive. See if any senior citizens in the area need extra assistance. Community service establishes ties between neighbors, businesses, and local groups and organizations, ultimately building a closer-knit community where people feel connected and safe.
- Report any suspicious activity. Something that sets safe neighborhoods apart from unsafe neighborhoods is people’s willingness to act. If you see something suspicious, don’t assume someone else will take action. Contact the police or your neighborhood watch group yourself.
- Make people aware. Establish a means of informing residents when crime occurs in the area, such as an automated email or phone message system. The more residents know, the more help they can provide to police, and the more vigilant they can be in protecting themselves. Knowledge increases safety.
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