Crime rates have decreased in the United States over the past two decades. Burglary, motor vehicle theft and larceny-theft dropped 5.6 to 14 percent in the year 2014. Community members have to work in maintaining lower crime rates.
Community involvement is crucial in maintaining a safer community. Here are nine ways of community involvement, anyone, can do:
Join Or Start A Town Watch
Town watch program identifies the neighborhood’s trouble spots and keeps home and streets well lit. This helps deter possible burglaries in the future. Most criminals think twice before committing a crime when they know that there is an active town watch program in the area.
Get To Know Your Neighbors
Knowing who your neighbors provide an extra set of eyes to look after your house when you are not around. People, as a social being, is known to care for those who they know. This also improves your relationship with the community.
“One particularly intriguing observation was that while low social participation and lack of social goals independently were associated with lower levels of well-being, when combined they each magnified the other’s effect,” says Denis Gerstorf, PhD, regarding one of his researches on social well-being.
Educate Kids On Bullying
Educating children on helping others is one great way to establishing a virtue. Encourage them to have confidence in resolving problems peacefully and avoid involving violence, for example, bullying.
According to Jonathan Fast, MSW, PhD, “Children who become bullies have often been shamed by their families and are trying to manage their shame by displacing it on another child. […] We can’t prevent bullying any more than we can prevent interpersonal aggression, but we can reduce the incidence and the viciousness of bullying by moving our school communities away from retributive behavior.”
Initiate A Buddy System
Criminals will less likely approach a group of two or more people. They will think that those who have someone accompanying them is not vulnerable. Another thing is that a buddy is someone more than just a walking partner. They can be someone that makes sure that you have everything you need to be safe, a pepper spray for example. And they are the ones you can always call for help when the need arises.
Talk About Security Systems
If someone you know installed a security system in their household, you should share this information in the neighborhood. There are some benefits in sharing this information. When criminals hear that a particular neighborhood or home is equipped with alarm systems, they are less likely to stop or back out entering such area. They will consider changing to easy targets. Also, if the security system proved that it could protect or prevent potential crimes; other community members may also consider installing it. Remember that the more community members are equipped, the less the crimes can happen.
Be Involved In Local Organizations
Local organizations make neighbors acquainted and make connections easy to keep the community safe. There are ways offered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to how your community can get involved and pair with local businesses or organizations to maintain community safety.
Create Rapport With Local Police Enforcement
Local law enforcement should be the first to respond to emergencies. Make sure that they are active and involved in community activities. Their presence alone can give the criminals an idea to stand low or even back out in committing crimes. Also, this provides effective communication between discussions of community concerns and enhances police force.
Make Your Neighborhood Clean And Tidy
Unkept neighborhood attracts burglars. A community with abandoned cars, rundown buildings, and trash tell burglars that there is no concern between the neighbors. Clutter is also a perfect hiding place for illegal items. Controlling the environment and ensuring your site is clean will surely keep the burglars away. Make sure to initiate a clean-up day and invite your neighbors to join to keep the community clean and safe.
Stay Current With Crime Trends
You should know what is happening around the neighborhood. Be alert to possible warning signs of impending crimes. Always be ready to report suspicious activities that are happening around. Being updated in the news and crime trends can make the neighborhood alert and stay proactive.
Interestingly, an experiment by Adrian Raine, DPhil, and Yu Gao, PhD, “found that those children who went on to commit crimes had “simply failed” to demonstrate fear conditioning,” Raine says. “In other words, they were fearless when most of us would be fearful. This finding suggests that deficits in the amygdala, which are indirectly identifiable as early as age 3, predispose to crime at age 23.”
Being in a safer community gives you, your family and those around you peace and ensures that you won’t fall victim in the impending crimes. By getting involved in the community and by following the tips above, anyone can help create a safer community for everyone.