The evening news is never complete without a neighborhood crime on the headlines. According to the 2020 Crime and Safety Report by the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), property crimes, such as theft, burglary, and breaking and entering, occur throughout Australia. The frequency of these crimes is on par with major U.S. metropolitan areas.
Many people no longer view community safety as the sole responsibility of the police force. Citizens of communities plagued by violence and crime are working with their local government to lessen the likelihood of crime incidents. Together, they look for resources and information to identify and eliminate the sources of violence, crime, juvenile delinquency, and drug use within their communities.
Neighborhoods that are major targets of vandals and burglars are taking proactive measures in keeping residential properties secure. Some even go further by installing CCTV camera installations in their homes and public spots for security and monitoring. This gives them the ability to identify unfamiliar people in sensitive areas of the neighborhood.
There are plenty of ways to keep a neighborhood free from crimes while keeping everyone safe. In this article, we rounded up three security measures to ensure the safety of your entire community.
Clean spaces make a difference
A well-kept community can go a long way in reducing crime. How’s it possible? The appearance of a neighborhood has a direct link to the number of crime rates in the area. Some safety issues occur because local departments have staff shortages or are strapped for cash. A community with limited manpower and financial resources is likely to have poor control of the area.
From a fallen tree or rundown areas, some things need to be done and organized in a community. Excess foliage and messy places are great places to hide, so it’s important to deal with them immediately. For example, turning an empty park into a playground area with sidewalks can make it more inviting. You can also lighten up dark and empty streets by installing street lights and creating a bike path. If there’s a liquor store nearby, you can send a petition to replace it with a family-friendly establishment instead.
Organizing weekend clean-up group is also a great community activity to gather the entire neighborhood. Advertise the activity using fliers, social media, or by word-of-mouth to inform community members. Creating a clean and green space for the community will only involve coordination to tackle safety issues.
Create an online community group
Although spending too much online may not be healthy, use it to your advantage by strengthening the community bond. Many people these days have their own social media account. They use it to stay updated with their family and friends and the local news.
Some homeowner’s associations already have an online community on social media. You can ask the page administrators if you can start discussions about neighborhood safety initiatives. If your community doesn’t have one yet, create a Facebook group geared towards community safety and other community-related activities and information.
Once you have invited the community to join the group, you can organize safety meetings and create discussions about safety issues and safety-related announcements. As much as possible, encourage everyone to participate in online conversations and offer suggestions related to safety initiatives.
Form a neighborhood watch
Do you know your neighbors and their family members? Are you familiar with their regular guests or visitors and the cars they drive? If not, then it’s time to have a sense of the familiar faces within your neighborhood.
Some communities organize a neighborhood watch, an organized group of people living in the same area who share the same goal of reducing violence, crime, and vandalism in the community. These people serve as the community’s safety advocates who will detect, analyze, and respond to areas that compromise the neighborhood’s safety. If your neighborhood doesn’t have one yet, take the initiative to start one.
First and foremost, you need to find interested parties who want to join. You can also talk with the local law enforcement department to inform them about your cause. Police officers can be a valuable resource to strengthen your safety practices in the neighborhood and ways to detect suspicious activities.
While it’s impossible to reduce crimes completely, taking the initiative to maintain neighborhood safety can encourage the entire neighborhood to do the same thing as well. You can start by educating yourself on the best safety measures to strengthen security in your community. Once you make the move, the neighbors will feel more encouraged to contribute and work together to make the neighborhood a safer place.