Because government and local law enforcement are responsible for addressing issues of crime in a community, it is easy for citizens to not be involved in crime prevention efforts. A question may be asked, “How do I help prevent crime in my local community?” Here are three quick tips on how residents can be involved in preventing crime – Participate, Promote and Protect:
Participate: This is probably the biggest factor. By having residents actively involved in community crime prevention efforts, they become a “force multiplier” for local law enforcement, giving them more eyes on the street. Part of participating in preventing crime is democracy in action. The outcome that results from your participation in the local government not only helps impact the community, it ultimately also impacts you the resident.
A key to being involved with the community means to be educated. Follow the news and current events to understand what is going on in the government and your local community. Learn the laws and follow them. Have knowledge of local events and establish relationships with your neighbors and local businesses. Build a partnership with your city officials and law enforcement, and voice your concerns. Learn problem solving skills and proactive ways on how to prevent crime, and share them with others. Ask questions, seek help, and develop answers. Notify the police when you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood.
Promote: Promote your local government and law enforcement. Promote their organizations and their events to help create awareness so others in your community can also be educated. Look for community improvement initiatives and efforts led by your local government and promote their values. Promote good family values, because morals start there. Promote your laws and set an example so others can follow them as well.
Protect: Don’t just follow your local laws, but defend them. You can help prevent crime through community policing. Although sometimes misperceived, “community policing” simply means actively helping to prevent crimes by following the law and not interfering with the local government. Help prevent crime such as violence, vandalism and other nuisance crimes before it happens, in a way that promotes your local laws and government.