Preventing Crime Through “Front Porch Living”
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
While crime effects everyone in a community in some way, crime prevention is often an afterthought. We tend to become acutely aware of crime AFTER the incident has already occurred. There’s no need to live in a constant state of panic or worry – crime prevention in a community can be as simple as taking a bit of time to engage in the world around you to connect with the people in your community.
There are several ways to get engaged that start right in your own home.
Get to know your neighbors
Building relationships with the people in your neighborhood is an easy, and often overlooked, way to take a step toward building a foundation of awareness. The simple act of knowing your neighbors and taking a vested interest in helping each other stay connected and in the know, are effective ways you can raise awareness and prevent crime in your neighborhood. Give yourself the opportunity to meet your neighbors by spending a bit of time in your front yard or on your front porch. The time you spend re-introducing good, old fashioned “Front Porch Living” will serve as the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with the people who live around you. You might even make some great friends in the process.
Start a neighborhood watch group
A neighborhood watch is an effective way to encourage neighbors to get more involved. Ask them to report suspicious activity to the non-emergency number for local police. Organize an ice cream social or block party to get people talking. Did you know that there’s a national Neighborhood Night Out? This annual event is held the first Tuesday of August and is designed specifically to pave the way to building stronger bonds within your community. Visit their website and check it out for yourself: //natw.org/about
Turn on your front porch light
Mr. Tom Bodell had it right when he said, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” It’s not only a deterrent to would-be thieves, it’s a welcome message to your neighbors.
Talk to local law enforcement
Through cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, you can keep them informed about concerns in your neighborhood. Officers are often looking for ways to get more involved on a more “one-on-one” level.
Start a Neighborhood Watch / Community Page on Facebook
You can set up the page as an informative tool not only as a forum for people to share experiences and happenings in the neighborhood, but also to interact and invite your law enforcement agency to participate in local happenings.
Generally, crime prevention is a simple matter of raising awareness. Engaging with your neighbors and establishing a sense of community will go a long way in taking steps towards launching your own group of crime watchers. Re-instituting “Front Porch Living” in your own neck of the woods, will pay off in more ways than one. Enjoy!