A Safe Neighborhood.
By Bob Goldsmith.
Is a safe neighborhood possible?
not hear me saying that home security is not important. To me having a
secure home is essential.
It is not possible to make your home
completely intruder or burglar proof, but you want to get as near as you can to making it impossible for a villain to ruin your day, or your life.
But a secure and safe home is not enough. You also want a safe and secure neighborhood don’t you?
may have a home where you feel reasonably safe within it’s walls, but
if you don’t feel safe when you step out the door that’s not so good.
fact I know how bad that can be.
Yes, you can sometimes move to a
safer neighborhood. But that is not always an option, you can be tied
to an area for many reasons.
If moving on is not possible for the
foreseeable future you may think that you just have to put up with
things the way they are. Wrong, you don’t have to. You can bring about
change to your bad neighborhood.
You may not succeed in making a silk
purse out of a sows ear, but you can do a heck of a lot to get your
A safe neighborhood. Organize, campaign, get your area cleaned up.
You are probably aware that being a member of your local Neighborhood Watch
is the best thing for your home security. But are you also aware that
your Neighborhood Watch fosters and encourages community problem
If you are not a member then join and participate.
one person can do it alone. Your aim should be to join together with
others. There does not have to be many of you to start, a few can do a
lot to get things moving.
No doubt you have heard of “Six degrees of separation?” That’s the
theory that you know someone who knows someone, who in turn knows . . .
and that anyone you care to name is separated from you by no more than
Well I don’t know about it always working out to six
or under, but if there is someone who could influence the way things are
in your neighborhood you can bet that you are not separated from them
by too many people.
That means that, with a bit of effort, you can bend
their ear, get them on board, get them fired up about making your
neighborhood a safe neighborhood.
We know when there are things
wrong with our neighborhood. What do we do? Bitch about it but do
nothing? Wait for things to miraculously get better?
Nothing is going to
get better until you are part of making it better, do nothing and
things stay the same or get worse, could be a lot worse.
Street crime? Antisocial behavior?
Could your district benefit
from a heavier police presence on the street? Would more patrols help?
Campaign to get patrols increased, you never know what can be done until
Perhaps officers can be freed from their desks by
the employment of more civilian staff. The less time that police
officers spend on paperwork the more time they can devote to Street Crime and ensuring that your locality is a safe place to be.
Drug den or crack house in your neighborhood?
Would you like your neighborhood to be safer? See what you can do to make it happen.
Report what you know – you can do it anonymously, phone Crime Stoppers.
Drug dealers are scum. And they don’t only ruin the lives of the victims
that they hawk their evil wares to, they also ruin neighborhoods.
you see a lot of visitors to a property that only stay for a very short
while it could indicate that the property is being used as a crack
An empty or abandoned property is often used as a crack house,
usually after being heavily fortified.
Don’t assume that the police know what is going on. Report what you
know, get something done.
You will not have a safe neighborhood all the
time there is a crack house in operation.
Suspicious Persons? If
you ignore questionable behavior, perhaps hoping that somebody else
will report it, then the chances are that the bad folks will stay free
and unpunished, going on to commit more misdeeds.
Do not put yourself
in any danger whatsoever, but do not simply ignore suspicious persons or
behavior, report it.
Graffiti attracts graffiti, it’s a fact. The longer graffiti is left on public or private property the more graffiti will appear.
It’s been proven again and again, the best way to have a graffiti
free, or close to graffiti free, neighborhood is to get the daubings
cleaned off as soon as practicable.
You can have a graffiti free
community, it takes effort, determination and commitment by city/town
authorities, the police department and local citizens, but it most
certainly can be done.
Not only will your neighborhood look better, not
only will it feel safer, it actually will be safer.
Problems with aggressive beggars?
Get something done.
No, I don’t mean act, or even think, like a
vigilante, that only puts you and others in danger. It is the
authorities that need to act, and action can be taken to ease the
One town found that it had a recent problem with citizens being
harassed by intoxicated beggars. The problem was traced to one liquor
store whose owner was not too particular about who he sold cheap booze
to. Pressure was put on him to act responsibly, he complied and the
problem was greatly reduced.
Abandoned Shopping Carts? Is
your neighborhood littered with discarded carts? So, you may not think
this is a biggy, but abandoned shopping carts can be a danger as well as
It doesn’t take much to stop the practice of folks
abandoning carts in your area. A small thing perhaps, but many small
things make for a safe neighborhood.
Is litter a problem?
Is garbage collection infrequent? Are vehicles dumped at the roadside in
your area? A litter strewn neighborhood does not feel like a safe
neighborhood. Organize, campaign, get your area cleaned up.
your district or town council to do what they are obliged to do.
Outside of that, organize a voluntary task force to get unsightly areas
cleaned up, organized citizens can often achieve far more than district
councils ever can.
No matter how bad, or how lawless, your neighborhood seems to be, always
remember that there will be other good concerned citizens just like
you. It is by joining together with the other good folks to take action
that will get results. Not taking action by confronting the bad guys
directly of course, that is the job of the police.
Concerned citizens who take action are rewarded with a better
Remember though that there is no such place as a completely
safe neighborhood. Where there are humans there is danger, and no matter
how much your efforts have improved your area, you have to keep alert.
Self defense techniques can be invaluable for situations where you have no choice but to defend yourself. Fighting back may give you the opportunity to get away to safety.