How Safe is Your Neighborhood?
As a child, you never question the decision of your parents, when it comes to places to live. You could have grown up in the same neighborhood all your life, and it always seemed to be the safest place to you. There could have been places to avoid, people to avoid, and plenty of places that might seem safe to you, but you never put much thought into it. As an adult, and one with a family, safety is always a concern. When you own a home, or live in a community of people such as apartments and condominiums, safety is not only a concern for your family but for the entire neighborhood. If one person gets robbed, attacked, or hurt in anyway, the entire neighborhood hears about it, and feels it.
It makes you start to wonder how safe your neighborhood really is. Are there plans in place to make it safer? Has there been crime in your area that has been a little too close to home?
With recent news posts about criminals committing robberies and getting away with it, even if they get caught, things will get worse. By alerting everyone on the news, even other criminals they opened the doors for more of these crimes to happen. (Think back to the first car chase that was shown on the news. Everyone watched and it went on for hours. Then, more of them happened, and this went on for years with a new car chase almost weekly. As it became old news, and less people were covering it, the crimes got less and less.) If criminals were not aware that they could break the law, and end up keeping the loot or at least getting rid of it and making money off it, and having only a fine or less than thirty days in jail to pay for it, they will be now. It makes you want to rethink your plans of safety in your neighborhood.
Talk to Your Neighbors
Not everyone likes their neighbors, but this doesn’t mean you can’t be neighborly. (I live in an apartment currently and have lived in condos, houses and apartments. My current place is set up with 4 units in one structure giving me 3 neighbors total, 2 upstairs and one across the hall. While I’m courteous and polite to all of them, the ones across the hall are rude and inconsiderate to everyone.) You don’t have to go out of your way to be nice, but a simple “hello, how are you” works wonders to build relations. And even if you don’t want to build a relationship with that particular neighbor, at least knowing who they are can be enough. Odd behavior from a neighbor could be a bad sign, and knowing your neighbors well, will alert you to possible danger.
Talking to your neighbors and letting them know who you are, will also invite them to be more polite to you. That opens doors of opportunities for friendship, and safety. As there is safety in numbers, neighbors will look out for each other. That man that sits on his porch for half the day, sees everything that goes on in the neighborhood, and it could be a great friend to have to watch your house. A nosy neighbor might seem like a bad thing, but if your house were to be broken into, that nosy neighbor will know who did it, or what they look like.
Your neighborhood is only safe if you help to protect it. While it takes the entire neighborhood to be included in this, not everyone might want to participate. This doesn’t mean they deserve any less protection. And if a crime does happen, they could be the first ones to start helping to organize a neighborhood watch. If there is already a program, be sure and do your part to keep your neighborhood safe.
Alarm Systems and Police Support
Your neighborhood should know the local police in the area. While police don’t often patrol neighborhoods all the time unless there is a lot of crime in the area, it is good to get to know the officers in your area. These are the men and women that put their lives on the line to protect you and your family from danger. They need your support, and that means reporting anything suspicious to them when you can. This doesn’t mean you need to call and bug them constantly, but if something is odd in your neighborhood they can sure be there to investigate the matter. An officer that is more familiar with people will often be more friendly and willing to listen, which is why they try to get to know the people in their community.
Having an alarm system that alerts the police is a great way to get to know them. (That is, unless your alarm goes off for no reason, repeatedly, and they keep being called out to your house.) An alarm system only works if you make it work for you. It must be set up correctly, and function correctly to be effective. Cameras in your neighborhood could work to the advantage of the entire neighborhood when it comes to stopping crimes, and not just for one house. (Mail thieves often hit an entire block of houses, and all it takes is cameras at one location to catch them in the act, and be alerted to the police.) If you know aby officers they could probably give you an idea of who has the best system, or a system that would work best for your house.
Home Owners Insurance and Renters Insurance
While home owners may be forced to buy insurance in some cases, what you purchase is the most important. Home Owners insurance covers a variety of things, and one of them is very similar to Renters Insurance. Renters insurance is there to protect your valuables in case you get robbed. While you might not get your items back, being covered by insurance means that the insurance company will reimburse you for the value of those items, allowing you to replace them.
Both of these areas of insurance will have places for you to list in detail, the items that you want to have insured. It is a good idea to insure jewelry, electronics, and niknaks that you might feel could be stolen from your place. The more items you list, the more you are covered for. Even down to the simple task of listing your cell phone should be added to the list.
So to recap your 5 ways to make your neighborhood safe.
#1 Talk to your neighbors.
#2 Start a neighborhood watch, or join one that is already there.
#3 Alarm systems with cameras.
#4 Police support by supporting and reporting to the police.
#5 Insure your home with the right coverage.