It is a simple fact of life that everybody wants to live in a place where they feel safe and secure. As crime increases due to issues like drugs and poverty so burglaries, muggings and home invasions have increasingly become part of the fabric and experience of modern urban life. It is a sad reflection of the age we live in, but the truth is that there are ways to mitigate this and to make the areas in which we live safer. And it isn’t rocket science either. What it requires is a degree of drive and focus and the buy-in of the neighbourhood. Here are a few simple ways to help make your home and its surrounds a lot safer.
Get people out on the street, it really doesn’t matter who. Obviously, look to encourage visible policing from the police force themselves. But, almost inevitably the police are understaffed and unable to focus on your neighbourhood exclusively. So, find solutions like mobile security patrols who are paid to be in the area. But also look to develop an active neighbourhood watch – not a group of vigilante madmen, but a group of citizens who are able to act as eyes and ears for the police. The more awareness there is and the more eyes there are looking for trouble, the more uncomfortable it will be for criminals looking to operate in eth area.
Know your neighbours
It might sound like a simple thing to say but know your neighbours. Familiarise yourself with their habits and take note of their comings and goings. Community Facebook or WhatsApp groups are also a great way to keep communication simple but effective. You want people to be looking out for each other. The key to neighbourhood safety is not higher walls and more people living in isolation, it is a greater sense of community and awareness of those around you.
Crime is a strange thing and it prospers in areas of neglect. So, make sure that nothing about your area looks neglected. This means removing any graffiti, picking up litter, cutting verges and generally making the area look well-kempt and cared for. The goal is to make criminals feel out of their element and given that most of them live in the more run-down parts of town, it goes without saying that a well-cared-for neighbourhood, where you can see good lifestyle will not be a place where they feel comfortable.
Even if they don’t exist, create the impression that the neighbourhood is not worth a criminal visiting. In the same way the traffic police like to erect signs warning of camera traps – even when they are not there – do the same in your area. Signs suggesting that the area is monitored by 24-hour surveillance cameras will be disconcerting. Any criminal type will immediately think twice about perpetuating a misdeed in an area that is monitored – they will look to try and spot the cameras and when they don’t, they will probably leave. It is easier and safer to head somewhere where they know categorically that there are no cameras.