By Richard Armen

Are you worried about neighborhood crime? It seems like crimes are on the front page of the newspaper almost every day. Whether you live in an urban environment, an isolated rural home, or a new subdivision, crime can happen to your neighborhood. It’s too easy to think that crime will never come to your neighborhood. Whether you are afraid to go for a walk in your neighborhood or simply don’t want crime to affect your family (and who does!), consider the following ways to stop neighborhood crime.

A proactive approach to stopping crime in your neighborhood is much better than reacting once crimes start happening. A neighborhood watch program is a good way to work to end crime in your neighborhood, and has the added benefit of bringing together the people who live near you. Getting to know your neighbors can help you spot things or people that are out of place right away. You may have seen ‘neighborhood watch’ signs along streets in some neighborhoods, and these can be helpful in deterring criminals by telling them that the homeowners will be watching for their suspicious actions.


Understand what a neighborhood watch does before you start one. Members of the neighborhood watch should not be interrupting a burglary in progress, chasing the criminals, or tracking down perpetrators. A neighborhood watch is not a vigilante organization. Instead, it is an agreement to watch for problems throughout the neighborhood and report them to the police. Your local police will probably be able to help you get one started; after all, these programs make their jobs easier.

Do not be afraid to call the police when you think a crime may be happening in your neighborhood. Perhaps they will even be able to catch the criminal in the act; this is a lot easier than chasing after them days later. Watch the news, and be aware of any crimes that occur nearby so that you can be aware of crimes that may be more likely to happen in your neighborhood. Look for signs of vandalism or drug activity, and know your police department’s non-emergency number in case you ever need them for a non-emergency situation. Report anything that seems out of place.

No matter how safe you feel your neighborhood to be, there are a few steps you can take to make your house the one on the block that’s least likely to attract criminals. Keep your home well-lit, and your doors and windows locked. Make sure the curtains are closed, especially in any room where expensive electronics and similar possessions are readily visible.

Don’t forget to protect you and your loved ones directly through self defense products. Keep at least one can of pepper spray, a stun gun, or another device in your home where it’s readily accessible. You can also carry a keychain canister of pepper spray when walking or jogging outdoors, especially at night. No matter what steps you have taken to deter criminals in your neighborhood, make sure that you can still effectively protect yourself and your loved ones from intruders. Even if you live in a ‘safe’ part of town, it is still possible for crimes to affect your neighbors, your family, and yourself.

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