Can being neighborly really make your neighborhood safer? According to Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build strong communities, “A study on violence in urban neighborhoods in the mid-’90s showed that lower rates of violence occur in neighborhoods characterized by “collective efficacy” – that is, mutual trust among residents and a willingness to intervene in the supervision of children and the maintenance of public order.”
Here are ways being connected with your neighbors can increase the safety and security of your neighborhood:
- Knowing your neighborhood makes you more aware of its strengths and weaknesses.
- Neighbors who know each other are more likely to take action to protect the life and property of another, if and when needed.
- Neighborhood initiatives such as Neighborhood Watch can discourage criminal activity.
- Neighbors who openly communicate with one another can discourage drive-by crimes.
- If there happens to be a law enforcement investigation in the neighborhood, neighbors who are closely connected can share more information that may prove helpful.
- If any suspicious characters live in the neighborhood, it’s better to know who they are and where they live. Ignorance is not always bliss, especially when children are involved.
- Knowing the neighborhood crime history can be useful, including any incidences of package or mail theft.
- If you know your neighbors and their dogs, a barking dog that normally doesn’t bark may warrant further investigation.
- If you know the neighbors and their children, you can help the parents hold the children accountable.