How to Prevent Crime in Your Community and Protect Yourself
National Crime Prevention month is observed in October. From stopping identity theft, to firearm safety, to strengthening and preventing crimes in your neighborhoods, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is committed to help "Take a Bite Out of Crime®."
What is Crime Prevention Month?
In 1984, October was designated as Crime Prevention Month through a Presidential proclamation and since then, NCPC has been working with local law enforcement, government agencies, civic groups, schools and businesses, and other organizations to help them spread the word about crime prevention and personal safety.1
Since the very beginning Stun & Run’s mission has always been to prevent crime and save lives by providing people with the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to protect themselves and their loved ones.
In this blog post, we’ll cover how to prevent crime in your community.
1. Start a neighborhood watch to prevent crime
National Neighborhood Watch programs were originally created by the National Sheriffs’ Association. In the beginning, it was left to local law enforcement agencies to create local groups.
Nowadays, neighborhood watch programs are community led by individuals living in the same area. Some may go by “crime watch,” “block watch,” and so forth.
The goal is to make the neighborhood safer while improving the quality of life by working together and alongside local law enforcement. The key element is its relationship with local law enforcement.2
Activities conducted by neighborhood watch groups vary from conducting home security surveys, distributing crime prevention information, organizing volunteers, conducting neighborhood clean-ups, and some even assist with homeless and mentally ill individuals who wander the streets.
2. Recognize suspicious behavior
It’s not always easy identifying suspicious behavior.
Perhaps one of the most common indicators is witnessing an individual(s) sitting in a parked car for an extended period of time (especially if you don’t recognize the person or people as residents of your neighborhood, let alone the car). Loitering for no apparent reason can also be a red flag.
With technology advances improving our overall quality of life, there also comes new outlets for criminals to victimize you.
Be aware of cyber crimes such as: phishing schemes, identity theft scams, online harassment, cyberstalking, and invasion of privacy.
To better protect yourself don’t use obvious passwords, keep personal information private, monitor billing statements, and invest in a shredder.
3. Don’t be a target
A basic rule of thumb: lock up, light up, and clean up.
Locking your doors and utilizing a reliable home security system can act as your first line of defense.
Keeping your front door and back doors well lit can prevent criminals from breaking in.
Make sure that when you’re winding down for the night, valuables are safely stored away. This includes inside and outside your home. Make it a habit for kids to put their bicycles, skateboards, and other property away.
This rule of thumb also goes for your vehicles. Although it’s best practice to park in a garage, what if you live in an apartment building that doesn’t offer one? Or what if you’re visiting a friend or family member and your only option is to park on the street?
Always lock your car doors and keep your car clean. When it comes to enticing objects, criminals see this as a crime of opportunity. Loose change and lunch bags (that often appear like purses) in view can result in your car being broken into.
4. Keep non-lethal self defense options on hand
Know your right to defend yourself. Should you find yourself in a position of having to defend your life and/or your families life, keep non-lethal self defense tools on hand like:
Perfect for anyone who is walking city streets, rural back roads, or even your own neighborhood (for those just in case moments) because you never know what you are going to encounter. From stray dogs, to wild animals, and criminals disguised as pedestrians, having a DPS X-Stream Range Defense Spray at your fingertips could save your life.
In the event of an attack, this lightweight and compact self-defense keychain can pack quite the punch. Its ABS plastic molding is both reliable and durable; not to mention it’s extremely portable, giving you the opportunity to carry your peace of mind with you at all times.
These expandable batons are engineered to meet the demands of police, military and security professionals worldwide. They’ve been made available to civilians - keep in mind California requires verification as law enforcement officer, military service-member or security guard.
5. Be aware of your surroundings
Just as you wouldn’t text and drive, use your phone with caution while out and about. Walking with your head down and mind occupied (by whatever it is you are consuming through your mobile device) can easily make you a target.
Safety awareness and self-awareness work hand in hand. If you’re curious how, checkout safety awareness 101: how to stay self aware in public spaces.
Never walk alone at night, but if you must, we do have a persoal safety book: Avoid, Prepare, Defend: 25 Essential Tips on How to Stay Safe from Crime. To get your paperback or ebook copy, head over to Amazon.com. Or get it free by signing up for our email newsletter!
Other options are to plan your route ahead of time, use well-lit streets, and avoid dark alleys or bushy areas. You should also consider carrying shriek alarms or a whistle to bring you safety and security to frighten your attacker.
If you do find yourself in a situation where a robber approaches you, don’t resist them. Hand over whatever is demanded quickly as you never know if they are armed. Remember that your life and safety is worth more than property that can be easily replaced.
Prevent crime in your community and protect yourself by:
- Start a neighborhood watch
- Recognize suspicious behavior
- Don’t be a target
- Keep non-lethal self defense options on hand
- Be aware of your surroundings
Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see or experience a life-threatening situation that requires the police, the fire department, or an ambulance. Be prepared to share as many details as possible.