Neighborhood crime levels can have serious effects on the wellbeing and safety of the residents. One too many crimes taking place in a neighborhood could lead to criminals or drug dealers making it their usual business place.
Naturally, this is something people living in friendly neighborhoods want to avoid at all costs. After all, a safe neighborhood is a safe home!
Luckily, a criminal defense attorney has given us some insight into how the ideal, anti-criminal neighborhood should look!
1. Neighborhood Watch Group
The classic way to reduce the level of criminality in your neighborhood is to set up watch groups. People in these groups would sacrifice a bit of their free time to survey the neighborhood and report any unlawful or criminal activity.
Since the police are the leading partner of such groups, members can reach out directly to the Sheriff’s office if needed.
On top of that, if you manage to round up some of the bulkier guys in the neighborhood that would patrol convenience stores and gas stations from time to time, petty thieves will certainly relocate in a matter of days!
Naturally, we don’t even have to mention that, in some cases, official watch groups may have the right to intervene during potential thefts and catch a burglar long before the police arrive.
2. Motion-Detector Lights
Streetlights are usually not enough in terms of providing both police and residents with a clear view of what is happening in the neighborhood.
Therefore, you should call for a motion-detector lights initiative. The more houses have such a feature installed on their porch or front door; the less criminals will try to break into them.
Moreover, if you set up your motion-detector lights to also trigger an alarm if they get activated during the night, you will surely keep any type of burglar – or small feline – away from your home. Jokes aside, if you do leave your house unattended and want to make sure that your neighbors know what’s happening, we strongly recommend motion-activated alarms for your home.
3. Privacy Fences Might Be an Issue
Privacy fences are standard throughout the US. On top of that, nobody is saying that they work against neighborhood safety.
However, if built poorly or not taken care of, they can easily become hiding spaces for criminals on the run. If possible, try to keep your yard and its surrounding as clean as possible.
4. Bushes and Hedges
Speaking of cleanliness and hiding places, the wild criminal may find an ideal hiding spot inside an untrimmed bush or hedge.
Try to keep vegetation as trimmed as possible. If you do not have the time, this is also a great opportunity for the neighborhood kids to make some pocket money!
Overgrown bushes and vegetation can also make it more difficult for the neighborhood watch to properly investigate the area. Instead of covering more of the neighborhood, they’ll have to stop at every untrimmed bush and make sure that no one or nothing is hiding in there. On top of that, overgrown vegetation also makes for an ugly neighborhood and you don’t want to be responsible for that – right?
5. Deadbolts and Bars
A study has shown that if breaking into a house takes more than 60 seconds, the burglar is more likely to quit trying.
To make their so-called job a nuisance, you can install deadbolts on every access door into your house, as well as locks and maybe even bars on windows. Then, if you want to play a bit with any potential burglar, you can install bars and deadbolts that lock in place once the indoor alarm is activated. This will trap the thief in your house and prepare them for when the police arrive.
If multiple houses are equipped with such systems and they manage to catch some culprits, those will probably be the last thieves you’ll ever see in your neighborhood.
6. Make an Empty House Look Busy
If you want to leave for holidays, it is recommended to make your house look as if someone is home.
For example, your neighbor can park their car in your driveway while you are gone – and they can do so without sacrificing the security of their home. You could also leave a radio, light, or TV open while you are away.
For even better safety and security, you can have a neighbor or a teen in your neighborhood take care of your plants or pets – if you have any – while you’re gone. Moreover, if you have a garden that needs tending, you can also have a friend take care of it and, at the same time, show that your home is active and not a good target for robberies.
7. Keep Your Valuables Safe
Even if your neighborhood is known as safe and friendly, you still shouldn’t leave your valuables in places where they’re easy to spot/find. For example, instead of keeping your necklaces and bracelets in drawers and dressers, you should buy a dedicated safe that will keep them safe when you’re out of the house.
Comprehensive safes can also be installed into walls and can be large enough to hold your valuables and jewelry at all times, not only when you’ve gone on holiday. Moreover, take into account the value of your possessions as well, especially if you want the burglar to be punished accordingly. For instance, NewMexicoCriminalLaw states that stolen property of under $250 is classified as petty theft, whereas everything up to $500 is a misdemeanor.
This is extremely important when declaring what has been stolen from you, in case it happens – a wrong declaration can leave a thief unpunished and released back on your neighborhood’s streets!
8. Serial Numbers and Special Markings
Does your local pawn shop receive one too many valuable items that seem to come from one of the nearby neighborhoods? If so, then here’s what you should do. In order to deter criminals and drastically reduce crime in your neighborhood, add serial numbers and special markings to your most valuable items.
As such, if your house gets broken into and some items disappear, the police will only have to inform the pawn shops in a certain radius about your item and the fact that it is marked with a serial number. If word breaks out in the thieves’ community, so to say, it’ll soon be known that your neighborhood doesn’t play around with criminals!
The Bottom Line
A safe neighborhood is created via a community effort. The crime level will not decrease if only one citizen does the things mentioned above.
If you want to live in a pristine neighborhood, you must persuade its entire community to do at least some of the above. They may be more than just welcome to the idea, especially given that some actions involve beautifying the neighborhood!