By The Right-Wing Teen
Have you been seeing more crime in your neighborhood lately? I know we have – and we live out in a rural area!
Most citizens don’t get involved in crime prevention efforts, since local law enforcement typically has the responsibility for addressing issues to fight crime in the community. But with the defunding of police departments around the country thanks to leftist politicians and militant BLM activists, more and more people are finding themselves on their own.
Combine that with the increasing homeless population fanning out from the cities to the suburbs, illegal immigrants housed in hotels near you, criminals let out of prison under lax laws, and an influx of new people (both good and bad) relocating from other states… unfortunately, you can expect the crime rate to continue rising.
Don’t count on a superhero to come to the rescue and fight crime for you. There are plenty of easy steps that you can take on your own to help make your community a safer place. By building relationships with your neighbors (and your local police force where possible), you’ll raise awareness and make it easier to protect your home.
Here are fourteen ways in which you can help your neighborhood fight crime:
- Promote good family values, because morals start there and are instilled in us at a young age.
- Keep in mind the impacts of substance abuse on families, friends, and society. With more states legalizing recreational drugs, it’s important to ensure that everyone in your community is educated about the negative effects of drugs.
- Establish community standards and policies that reject violence and other crimes.
- Develop relationships with your neighbors and local businesses. By getting to know your neighbors and the people who belong in your neighborhood, you will be better able to tell if something is wrong. Then you can notify the police when you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood.
- If you’ve noticed an uptick in problematic loitering or public drinking around local businesses, let your local law enforcement agency know. Getting the police involved will send the message that crime isn’t tolerated in your neighborhood.
- The stronger your community is, the safer it will be. Introduce yourself to the people on your block, wave to folks as they walk by, and chat it up with neighbors you meet at the mailbox. Not only will it be easier to spot suspicious people if you know everyone, but it will feel good knowing you’re looking out for each other. Also, potential criminals may be deterred by the unity in your neighborhood.
- Start an official Neighborhood Watch program. Those “neighborhood watch” and “active law enforcement zone” signs can have a huge impact. Criminals are much less likely to hang around if they know residents are on the lookout for suspicious behavior. Also, if you maintain a good relationship with the police, they may be more likely to patrol your area a little more often.
- Install security cameras inside and outside of your home. Choose locations where the cameras will be highly visible, and encourage your neighbors to do the same. Cameras can help in the apprehension of criminals when you capture the crime on video, and the presence of cameras will help deter criminals in the first place.
- Don’t have a dog? Put up a “Beware of Dog” sign anyway. Likewise, you can put a security company sign or video surveillance sign in your yard, even if you don’t have a security system installed. Criminals won’t know the difference. Criminals tend to ignore “No Trespassing” signs, but they might think twice with this one.
- Bright lighting can lower crime, because dimly lit neighborhoods make it easy for criminals to operate unnoticed; but bright lights waste energy and pollute the night sky. On the other hand, leaving an area completely dark forces criminals to have to use a flashlight which attracts attention by the light they’re emitting. A happy medium is motion-sensitive lighting that comes on when movement is detected; but motion lights can be problematic if they get triggered by stray cats and other animals. So you’ll have to choose which approach will work best in your situation.
- Secure your doors and windows, install a fence around your yard, lock your gates, and put locks on any sheds or other outbuildings. Whenever you leave home, be sure to lock your doors and windows and gates. If you live in a gated community, see that the gate is maintained so it doesn’t get stuck open, and make sure there aren’t any other ways for criminals to sneak in and then make a quick exit.
- Prevent utility theft by making water spigots and electrical power outlets inaccessible to outsiders.
- Plant spiky cacti or thorny shrubs under your windows as a natural home defense mechanism. Trim hedges and bushes so you can easily see out of your windows. Keep your entryway area open and uncluttered so potential burglars won’t be able to hide themselves while they try to break in. (Did you know… 80% of home burglaries occur through a door or window, with over 95% of break-ins using force such as rocks or bricks, baseball bats, hammers and crowbars.)
- Install security screens on doors and windows. You don’t have to put ugly black wrought-iron bars on your windows; you can get modern stainless steel wire mesh security screens to match your existing window style and color. These screens provide unobstructed views and ventilation, and they are easily openable from the inside (even for children and senior adults). While they don’t look any different than normal insect screens, steel security screens are designed to keep more than bugs out. These burglar-proof and vandal-resistant screens can dramatically withstand high-impact stress and even survive a Category 4 hurricane!
- Keep your home and yard clean and well-kept. Pick up litter, fix broken fences, and paint over graffiti to make your neighborhood look nicer. Criminals are more likely to assume they can get away with something if it looks like people don’t care about the community.
It always pays to be vigilant, but never go looking for trouble or trying to fight crime yourself. The goal is to prevent unwanted access to your home and to make your community less welcoming for criminals in the first place. There are plenty of ways in which you can help deter burglary, vandalism, and other crimes before they happen, in a way that supports local law enforcement.