One of the most important steps you can take to prevent or lessen crime in your neighborhood is to start a neighborhood watch program. Improving home security, locking your doors, and talking to the kids about strangers are all ways to promote safety. No matter how careful you are, you can only do so much. A neighborhood watch program is the adage "safety in numbers" put into practice. Consider your neighborhood and your own activities:
Think about your neighbors. The senior citizen who doesn't get out much, the stay-at-home parent, and the person who works nights may be available to observe strange vehicles or unusual activity when others are not home.
Think about your routine. Your normal activities such as yardwork or playing outside with the children allow you to observe your immediate surroundings. A walk after dinner lets you check more of your neighborhood. If you see something or someone that arouses suspicion, contact the police and let them investigate.
Think about your behavior. Common sense can keep you safe in your home and your neighborhood. When you leave on vacation, do you tell your neighbors, let them know when you expect to return, and leave a contact number? Do you let strangers into your home to use the phone or deliver a sales pitch?
If you're ready to take your personal safety practices to the next level, start a neighborhood watch program. It takes involvement and active participation from people, but the benefits of a safer neighborhood far outweigh any added responsibility. Contact the Crime Prevention Unit for assistance. An officer can give advice, attend your initial meeting, and help you get organized.