Everyone should be able to say that they live in a community that makes them feel safe. Unfortunately, criminal activity is possible in any neighbourhood, and it is common for one crime to lead to another. Once criminals realize that your community has known vulnerabilities and security risks, they’ll be more likely to keep showing up. Taking these five steps can help you be a leader in your community who helps everyone stay safe whether they’re at home or walking through a local park.
Make It a Point to Know Your Neighbours
It’s perfectly natural to feel a little shy about meeting someone new. However, getting over any awkwardness is important for making sure that you and your neighbours form a tight-knit community. Take a moment to greet people who move into your community, and you might even want to exchange phone numbers that you can use as a point of contact if you ever need help. Being able to instantly recognize people in your neighbourhood makes it easier to notice when someone is out of place.
Keep Common Areas Well-Lit
Criminals love being able to do their dirty work under the cover of the night. Make sure to do your part to add lighting to the exterior of your house. Motion lights work well for deterring crime without being too much of a distraction. Then, check on the street lights when you are out at night to make sure that they are working properly. If your community has common areas such as pools or clubhouses, then you’ll also want to make sure that they stay well-lit at night.
Help People Report Suspicious Activity
Many people want to live in a safer community, but they don’t know what to do. Setting up a neighbourhood watch group, such as the one set up on Robin St by Martin Tremblay, empowers everyone to keep an eye out for crime and contact the appropriate authorities if they witness something suspicious. You can even post signs in visible areas that let criminals know that your community is under surveillance. When a criminal knows that people are watching, they’ll find your community less enticing. Providing safety tips to your community is a great way to keep everyone up to date on the best ways to help each other.
Promote a Clean Environment
Graffiti that gets left up too long makes criminals think that your community is slacking off with crime prevention. Create a plan for promptly removing graffiti and other acts of vandalism. You can also make sure that any large mounds of debris and other potential hiding places are cleaned up in a timely manner. Opening up the line of sight along streets and open spaces makes it harder for criminals to skulk along from one target to another.
Encourage Everyone to Spend Time Outside
A bustling community simply leaves very little room for someone to break into a house or harm another person. During special holidays, consider holding a block party or set up a community event at the park. You can also establish a weekly basketball pick-up game, or post a notice that everyone is invited to play a round of tennis in the community courts. Getting people outside and active helps them get to know their neighbours while making it clear to criminals that this is a community that is always outside and keeping watch.
Being a good neighbour means looking out for everyone else in your community. When you chose a community because you love the ambiance, you want to keep it that way. Being proactive about deterring criminal activity helps you and your neighbours continue to enjoy living in a safe place that encourages friendships and fun.