Tips on Protecting Your Neighborhood (And Your Home)

Posted on February 15, 2013

A recent Town Hall meeting in Lake County provided some great insight as to how residents can protect themselves from all sort of threats, especially burglars and other criminals.  The meeting was ostensibly held in order to address recent break-ins and a tragic crime that claimed the life of a local resident.  With numerous police officials on hand to urge caution to residents, it’s important for all Californians to understand some of the tips contained therein.

If you’re concerned about crime in your neighborhood, perhaps the best way to prevent it is to be a good neighbor.  Be on the lookout for any signs of rule-breaking that might signify more serious crimes.  To that end, eliminate headphones and other distractions from your travel routine (this has the added benefit of keeping you focused on the road so you can avoid potential traffic or pedestrian collisions).  A Neighborhood Watch group could even be put together.  This allows you and your neighbors to communicate more effectively and easily spot something out of the ordinary.

These steps are important, as they tie into something known as the Broken Windows Theory.  Essentially, this boils down to the idea that in a neighborhood with broken windows and other signs of vandalism, people are more likely to add to the supposed blight, committing crimes and engaging in further transgressions.  So if you see a neighbor neglecting important repairs or letting their property come into violation of local ordinances, report the issue immediately to the proper officials.  Vandalism should similarly be cleaned up quickly so that it doesn’t attract additional damage.

But that’s your neighborhood.  There are also steps you can take to protect your own home.  Officials in Lake County advised the installation of a security system.  Basic units, even those that include video cameras whose feeds you can view on your phone, cost only a few hundred bucks.  Another potential deterrent to criminals?  A dog.  You could get a dog that’s as friendly as can be, but if it sounds like an untamed beast when a stranger comes prowling, it should hopefully be enough to dissuade break-ins.  However, make sure your neighbors and acquaintances are protected from the animal if it’s the least bit violent.  You don’t want to get a dog to protect your home only to end up in an awkward personal injury situation when said dog attacks someone.

If you’re intent on purchasing a gun to defend your home, you should know how to use it safely.  Various courses are available to teach you how to operate guns properly, and you should take one so you don’t needlessly endanger yourself and your family.  If you have kids, the gun should be locked away someplace they can’t get to it.

Finally, mark down the serial numbers of expensive electronics.  If they get stolen, the police can place these numbers in a database, and the chances of catching the crook are then greater.

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