If you’re worried about what happens to your home when you’re gone, you’re not alone. Many Americans invest hundreds of dollars into home security systems, complete with cameras, motion detectors, and alarms. If you’re really worried about local crime, though, you need to take a different approach.
The best way to stop property crimes in your neighborhood is to talk to your neighbors. No, seriously! This might sound too simple to be true, but most answers to complex problems are simpler than you’d think.
Consider forming a neighborhood watch to keep an eye out for criminals. If you and your neighbors all make anyone in the neighborhood think twice before stealing or breaking into someone’s house, then you’ll see the crime rates fall. People are less likely to break the law if they think the neighborhood is full of people who keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
If you’re going out of town, ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your house for you. Set up signs in the neighborhood that warn potential criminals that the neighborhood watch will see them if they try anything illegal. When you all watch out for each other, the world doesn’t seem like such a scary place!
Another upside to being friends with your neighbors is that you’ll get to know them better. This makes it less likely that anyone who lives near you would want to break into your house! If you’re just some faceless stranger in your neighborhood, someone might find it easier to rationalize the choice to steal from you. However, if they know your name and they’re friends with you, then they might think twice before breaking in and stealing.
You’ll also get a feel for people who live near you. If anyone sees anything suspicious, they can tell you ahead of time. That way, you’ll be able to take precautions before a crime takes place, instead of waiting until after the fact.
If you’re new to an area, getting to know your neighbors will also help you learn about your surroundings. You might find out which places to avoid. For example, if there’s a region that’s known for a high concentration of pickpockets and muggers, your neighborhood friends can warn you to steer clear of it! That way, you’ll not only make your neighborhood safer, but you’ll also know how to avoid other criminal activity in the city.