What are nuisance crimes, and is the community responsible for curbing these types of crimes?
Some people think of a nuisance as something annoying that can be tolerated to a point. The definition of nuisance according to Dictionary.com is “something offensive or annoying to individuals or the community, especially in violation of their legal rights.” People should know that in most cases there are laws against public irritations. Therefore, committing an act of a public nuisance is a crime. Examples of criminal acts of public annoyance are vandalism, graffiti and illegal dumping.
Definitions according to Dictionary.com
Vandalism is “deliberately mischievous or malicious destruction or damage of property.”
Graffiti is “markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building, public restroom or the like.”
Illegal is “forbidden by law or statute.” Dumping is “to unload or empty out (a container), as by tilting or overturning.
Most people would agree the examples above are annoying and in some cases downright oppressive, depriving the community of health and happiness. If the community does not take responsibly the problem will remain. When a community takes ownership and decides to do something, Community Policing is born.
Community Policing is where individuals or organized groups work with Law enforcement to solve a problem that is tasking the community. The people and businesses who reside and work within neighborhoods partner with city officials and the police to change the atmosphere of their city. The U.S. Department of Justice has identified key players in Community Policing as “Government Agencies, Community Members/Groups, Nonprofits/Service Providers, Private Businesses and the Media.” Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has provided a useful tool in implementing Community Policing in your neighborhood. All parties who care about their city should read this and begin to solve the problems their city is facing.