Crimes cost businesses and homes millions, or even billions of dollars every year. Crimes can devastate even small businesses; these businesses can lose both employees and customers when crimes cause fear to spread in a neighborhood.
Prevention and reduction of crime is a community effort. Law enforcement agencies must cooperate with homeowners and businesspeople to improve security as well as to modify their areas and lessen the risks of crime.
Don’t give criminals a chance to commit a crime; once they succeed in doing the crime and getting away with it, they will do it again unless you take further steps and do something about it.
How can you protect your community against crime?
Start outside. Your walls and fences are your first line of defense. It’s a great idea to have high fences, but they can shield or cover the criminal once he gets over. Keeping them low is also a good way to go; it might be best to put trellis on top of fences as they help make climbing harder. You can get outdoor lights equipped with sensors that get activated when someone’s around.
Take measures even when you’re not home. It’s possible to set up timers for lamps and ceiling lights. It’s not enough that you light up the hall; fool burglars and other criminals by lighting up bathrooms, bedrooms, the landing, and living room too. You can also ask a trusted neighbor to close the curtains or keep an eye on your home while you’re away.
Don’t talk to strangers. Yes, this applies even to adults. Don’t allow strangers into your home, no matter how hard the person convinces you to sign a petition or maybe to trim the trees. He might be checking out your home and be back later to steal valuables.
Be equipped. Place reliable locks on your doors and windows. Big indows, preferably, must have two locks. Patio doors can be secured with security bars and/or purpose-made locks. Don’t leave keys close to your door, and entrust spares with relatives, friends, and trusted neighbors.
Check who knocks on your door. Criminals sometimes are devious; some of them are able to get inside homes without much struggle. Some choose to begin by knocking at your door – they might present themselves as young kids, uniformed/suited women, and even pregnant women.
Be wary of bogus officials. Some criminals will try to enter your home claiming to be officials. Real water board officials don’t have to go inside to check repair leaks or water pressure. If there’s a need for such, they must inform you first and set an appointment. Meter readers for gas and electricity will ask you to check their identity first. When in doubt, check with the appropriate departments first. If they’re genuine, then they won’t mind you verifying.
Most vandals are from the younger generation — they can be as young as grade-schoolers or as old as teens and young adults. The total cost of damages are estimated to be billions, and these costs (e.g. schools paying amounts for cleaning up graffiti) eat up funds that should have been spent for new books, sports equipment, computers, and other more important items.
People feel sad, angry and scared when their property gets vandalized for no particular reason. The sad thing is, vandalism might claim other victims too.
How Can You Prevent Vandalism?
Educate. Inform the public about the effects of vandalism. Let them know of its impacts and costs. Instill in their minds that vandalism is a crime, and that there’s a price to pay for it.
Clean up. Clean up the damages immediately after the vandalism has taken place. Repair playground equipment, replace signs, and paint over graffiti. Use lighting, fences, or landscape designs to discourage vandals.
Report. Report anyone you see vandalizing properties. Report the incident and the person to the police, to the authorities, or to someone who’s capable of taking action.
Do background checks. Set up a neighborhood watch and make it a point to do some background checking if you happen to spot a suspicious-looking person loitering in your neighborhood often. You can do background checks on the sly by going online. Click here for a good site that can help you do this is. The website has all sorts of information, such as criminal records, birth and death records, family history, marriage and divorce records, etc.
Vandalism and other crimes affect individuals and the community. They make people feel unsafe and uneasy.
Don’t be too complacent even in familiar surroundings. Don’t leave the door unlocked; don’t leave your bag unzipped and unattended. It’s best not to tempt these criminals into doing something that will harm everyone around them.