The days of neighborhoods that are safe enough for children to go around at all times of the day and night without supervision are long gone, unfortunately. These days, you would not be inclined to allow your son or daughter to roam the streets unsupervised, especially at night. No matter where you live or what you think about your community the truth is that we are not as safe and secure as in previous generations and even the most close-knit communities have reason to pause. Just 20 years ago, it would have been perfectly safe to let your kids out in the front yard. Now, you can never be too safe and parents have more reasons to worry about their neighborhoods. In order to have a safer community, it takes a collective effort from everyone, and it begins with you. How do we keep our areas safe? The following tips can help you get there.
Know Thy Neighbors
The better you know the people in your neighborhood, the most likely you are to build trust on your street and community. You should know if they work at day or at night, if they have kids, what they do for a living, if they are elderly and require occasional help, et cetera. Perhaps there are teenagers in the house that come in at odd times of the night. Maybe there are younger children to consider. Perhaps there are kids with special needs? The more you know about who lives on your block, the less suspicious you will be about people who enter your neighborhood.
You should have a means of contacting the neighbors if something is amiss in the area. You might have to contact someone in the area if you happen to notice suspicious behavior and need confirmation. At the end of the day, you just never know and you want to feel at ease knowing you can contact them, even at odder hours of the day or night. Consider devising a calling tree for your street with all the contact numbers of the adults that live on it, with a list of the kids under each parent.
Maintain your yard and have the other neighbors do it as well if they are able to. If they are older, offer to help with some of the tasks around their home as a collective. If your area looks clean and manicured, it is less likely to be burglarized and more likely to deter crime. That means checking out any and all areas that look suspicious, including abandoned homes and alleys, as well as cleaning up weeds, pulling the odd plant or two, and even fixing any exteriors that look questionable.
Proceed with caution when you decide to travel out of town and let your neighbors know the dates when you are gone so they can keep a lookout on your home and the surrounding area. Arrange to have your lawn mowed, walks shoveled, and mail picked up by someone while away. Place timers on lights, use a great security system and lamps that turn on remotely for an added sense of security.
Closing your blinds and windows at night ensures that people are not able to look into your house and see any possible valuables that you have. Plus, they won’t know the layout of your house and this makes it harder for potential thieves to break in quickly and escape without a trace.
Keep the streetlamps on your street always in working order to curtail crime and vandals. Each house should have a working porch light, with motion sensors ideal as they turn on when there is movement and keep areas that could potentially be dark well-lit.
Stay active in your neighborhood and build relationships within the community. Cookouts, organized sports, and get-togethers increase this bond and make it easier to keep up with what is happening with everyone on your street and community.
Know where your local police office is and visit every so often to get any updates as you never know when you will need it. You can even ask them to patrol your area if you suspect suspicious activity at any time. You can also initiate a program for a Neighborhood Watch.