Updated: Jan 7
What to do when Crime Comes to Your Neighborhood
Back in October, you’ll remember I shared the story of discovering that there was an "alleged" drug dealer living across from me at my first apartment.
More recently something happened in my current neighborhood that brought back some of those feelings all over again.
When something happens near our home, we have an emotional response to it. We all want our homes to be safe places for our family and when something bad happens we get scared or anxious.
Don’t Get Stuck in the Fear Loop
Many people get stuck in these two areas and they can’t get out of them. If you’ve done Tony Blauer’s Know Fear then you know this is getting stuck in the fear loop.
Instead of working on a solution or being in reality we start to imagine all of these worst-case scenarios that could have happened and we start to believe those false ideas.
Recently my neighbor’s home was targeted for a crime. They are okay, nothing too bad happened. But they were shaken up.
I had noticed the police at their home the night before but nothing had seemed to be really bad and I didn’t want to stick my nose into their business. But the next day my neighbor waved me down and explained the bizarre occurrence of the night before and asked me if I knew anything about installing Blink cameras.
I’ll pause here and say that my neighbor has no idea what I do or even what a podcast is so I laughed to myself. My neighbors were using their fear as motivation to improve their situation and install surveillance cameras. And I am proud of them for it. But they didn’t really know how to do it.
So I spent the next hour or so working with them to install Blink cameras on their home. And guess what, they got perfect video footage of the people coming back to their property the next two nights.
They Refused to be Victims
My neighbors didn’t stay stuck in the emotional “victim” stage. They used their fear as motivation to improve the security of their home and it worked.
They brought the police in and at every development kept them in the loop, but the biggest steps taken to secure their home they did themselves.
You can’t outsource your safety to someone else.
When crime comes to or continues in, your neighborhood you can choose to live in fear or take action. A simple action you can take after something bad happens is to open the lines of communication between you and your neighbors.
Don’t worry if you didn’t really have a relationship with them in the past, take this time to get to know them now. I suggest you leave a note in their mailbox or on their door that explains who you are, why you want to improve communication, and leave your cell phone number so people can text you.
This way you can talk with your neighbors, make good relationships, and work together to report anything odd that happens on your street. If you don’t want to share your number, then you can start a Facebook group or use an app like Band to open the lines of communication.
Encourage a Police Presence
You can also take your concerns to your local law enforcement to see if you can work with them on improving the police presence on your street. You can make a formal request for more patrols.
Try holding a first responders event where your neighborhood invites those on call to stop by for a meal. Do your best to attract law enforcement to your area for the right reasons and the criminals will take note.
Know your Neighborhood
If you’d like to know more about the signs of trouble in your neighborhood, check out the episode of this podcast entitled, Know Your Neighborhood.
I discuss baselines, anomalies, and surveillance methods you might consider to keep tabs on anything odd that goes on around the neighborhood. I want you to have these resources to help may your neighborhood a safer place for your family.