5 Neighborhood Safety Secrets You Need To Know
Not too long ago, Channel 10 identified San Diego’s 5 safest and most dangerous neighborhoods.
The safest included:
• Miramar Ranch North
• Sabre Springs
• Torrey Pines
• Carmel Valley
And the most dangerous were:
• Balboa Park
• Mission Bay Park
• Mission Valley West
• Kearny Mesa
If you’d like to see your neighborhood climb it’s way up to the safest list, here are some practical tips to help:
1) Start a neighborhood watch program. Neighborhood Watch is sponsored by the National Sheriffs’ Association and is recognized as “one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention programs in the country, bringing citizens together with law enforcement to deter crime and make communities safer.” Setting up a neighborhood watch program in your community is simple if you refer to these step-by-step instructions.
2) Spend more time outside. Active neighborhood are safer neighborhoods. Especially at night. Walk the dog after dark. Get your run in after the sun sets. Do as the Italians do and take your family out for an evening stroll right before dinner. And during the day, trim the greenery in your front yard, park on the street or in the driveway so people see you physically getting in and out of your car. Encourage kids in your neighborhood to ride bikes, climb trees & play catch—just like we did when we were kids. Criminals don’t hang out in active neighborhoods because they know they’re far more likely to be seen and caught, which really isn’t what they’re going for!
3) Identify a neighborhood safe house. Invite the warmest and most friendly people in your neighborhood to identify themselves as one the neighborhood safe houses—the place to go if there’s a problem of any kind. Try to get a few families to volunteer so the idea doesn’t shut down when one family isn’t home.
4) Get to know your neighbors. It’s easy to isolate yourself in the neighborhood if you’re not extrovert, but it’s not good. When you know your neighbors, you can look out for each other and easily detect and act upon anything that seems unusual. Try knocking on a neighbor’s door tonight to introduce yourself. Bring them a plate a homemade cookies, and you’ll probably meet an instant new friend. Once you’ve met a handful of people, consider organizing a block party so everyone can get to know each other better. You might find out that you live next to some really cool people!
5) Light up the night. Street lights aren’t always enough. Encourage every neighbor, whether they’re home or not, to put their porch light on a timer so that it’s automatically triggered every evening at the same time. Criminals prefer to act in the dark. The lighter your neighborhood becomes, the less attractive it will be to the bad guys.
It doesn’t take a lot of money to make your neighborhood safe, it simply takes a handful of committed leaders and a phone call to your local police department. The police have officers that conduct free trainings in home security and crime patterns on a regular basis. To schedule one in your neighborhood, simply call your local non-emergency police number.