How to Prevent Crime in Your Community

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.


No Walk in the Park: Keeping Kids & Play Areas Out of Harms Way

Parents delight in letting little feet run and frolic in the play areas at the local park. Active kids need to burn off energy. But playgrounds also attract something else—vandalism. Undetected vandals will create havoc in parks, leaving behind a trail of damage and destruction.

  •  Shattered glass
  • Broken and compromised play equipment.
  • Splintered wood
  • Protruding spikes or sharp, jagged edges
  • Dangerously exposed electrical wiring
  • Obscene graffiti vandalism

These all pose severe risks and safety hazards for children that come to play. It becomes even more dangerous when these hazards are hidden dangers such as glass pieces buried in the sand or broken playground equipment, since it’s difficult to detect until after injuries are sustained.

Crime is the greatest threat to the enjoyment and use of the park. Nuisance crime may stop access to recreation programs. Even the perception or feeling of being unsafe can drive people away and cause the public to abandon the park. Once deserted, park areas then attract more illegal and destructive activity.

Graffiti prevention and crime prevention strategies are increasingly vital. Be proactive and protect kids from playground destruction and danger. At the very outset prevent the criminal cycle from ever getting a foothold.


Buffalo, NY: Creating a haven of beauty and functionality prevents nuisance crimes

Mayor Byron Brown and his Parks and Recreation team have invested substantially in the city’s renowned park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in Buffalo, New York.

Through Brown’s comprehensive parks capital improvement plan, the mayor demonstrated commitment to safety, lower costs, healthy lifestyles and the attraction of new residents.

His plan included upgrades and improvements to existing structures like the playground, pool, park shelter, and the installation of a skate plaza, a new rain garden, and recreational walk way among other things.

“I’m proud of the results….City residents have since experienced increased service and a quicker response to neighborhood parks issues. We also lowered maintenance costs and improved facilities at parks by forging new and creative partnerships with not-for-profit organizations,” Brown said.

These kinds of improvements bring people together and provide healthy ways for youth to engage in activities and sports. Healthy community involvement keeps them away from issues contributing to park vandalism, graffiti, theft, burglary, property crimes, remedial programs or incarceration. Strategically revitalizing parks throughout the city unifies the community, saves money, and makes it safer for everyone.