Long gone are the times when children played ball in the middle of the street. The good days when kids would ride bikes around the neighborhood without a worry. These days parents have to worry about the different crimes that occur in that part of town. Are crime-infested neighborhoods becoming the new norm? Parents have to think twice about which neighborhood they’ll be buying a home in.

The Neighborhood Watch program assists in educating the community residents about their roles and responsibilities in preventing crime. Encouraging people is taking active measures by preventing crime, and calling upon residents in stepping forward by working as a team with the police and the community in building a safer, crime-free neighborhood. The Neighborhood Watch organization is a group discussing crime problems, developing objective solutions, and focusing on instructing groups on various crime techniques.

It’s not about what city has the cheapest homes anymore. Families have to do a lot more homework when looking into home buying.

Get the Community Involved to Work With the Police

Opportunity reduction is the use of observation to spot suspicious activity and eliminate it for the sense of community ownership. Social problems are the use of educational programs and other activities to raise awareness and learn to target the root causes of crime ie. drug awareness programs, tutoring, sports clubs, etc.

How Safe is a Neighborhood – Video

This “eyes-and-ears” training for neighborhoods gets the community involved to work with the police without the authority of making arrests or taking actions that typically are reserved for peace officers. The use of weapons is discouraged, even though local laws and permits may give a volunteer the legal authority to carry a firearm.

Neighborhood Watch or National Crime Prevention Council

A block captain recruits volunteers to maintain a neighborhood map of the addresses and landmarks. Holds meetings, maintains an incident file, and serves as a liaison with the local police. Going too far beyond the eyes and ears of the community, however, leads to conflicts and potential lawsuits. For example, stopping someone against their will can be considered a false arrest.

And taking someone into custody can be considered false imprisonment. Protocols are specific to each department and officers may not respond to every call. Though block captains and volunteers become familiar with these protocols.

Neighbors are able to network, make reports and give information on reported subjects. Even post pictures of subjects to watch for suspicious activity.

Facebook Community Page

Spot Crime gathers information on crime incidents, news reports, and user tips. It also plots the specific crime with icons, such as “assault” or “DUI” so you can have a clearer picture of what’s going on in your community. Neighbors come together on Nextdoor.com, Facebook Community Pages provide a safety net for the community to publicize a local crime. It has easy access to maps and you may even receive alerts for crime alerts by text, e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter to stay up to date with what crimes are happening around you.

One can also keep tabs on loved ones and/ or kids away at school. You can also report suspicious activity and crimes in your area anonymously or by providing your name.

Neighborhood Safety and Crime Prevention Websites

Many websites help assist families in finding the best neighborhood that suits their family’s needs. It gives parents the chance to find what they want in a neighborhood by simply entering it in the search engine. For example, “first-time-homebuyer” and “young professional” so you can find your area of interest more easily. You may also retrieve information such as crime stats, school ratings, and appreciation rates.

So it really comes in handy when you have plans to move somewhere new. More ways to spot local Crime and gain access to view registered sex offenders in your area. The Neighborhoodscout lets you specify a type of neighborhood and find similar neighborhoods in any state of your choosing.

Crime Stopping Resources

Speaking of walking, walkscore.com has ratings of your ideal neighborhood’s walk score. Transit Score, and bike score with Los Angeles’s walk score at 67.4, transit score at 51.3, and bike score at 56.0. So that you can better fit your lifestyle by choosing the best area of your interest. Using tools to discover a new area are always a helpful source of information. Keep in mind that nothing beats getting to know your neighbors.

Also, when you are moving to a new area, take a walk or drive around to discover your area’s restaurants, local shops, and schools. When the community centers look like they are thriving, it’s usually a good indication of the neighborhoods in a good area. And in case your kids are walking to and from school, using Megan’s Law website to find registered sex offenders gives you a better indication of the area your children are walking.

Keep an Eye Out

The Local Records Office provides you with information on crime that has taken place on your property and crime that has occurred within the community. Your report will break down this information into easy-to-read categories, including larceny theft, robbery, murder, aggravated assault, forcible rape, burglary, etc. When you see a crime situation at hand, it is your responsibility and duty to report it to authorities. But it is very important by doing so in a safe environment and by not putting yourself in harm’s way.

The federal laws are very clear in giving protection for you and your family and keeping your identity protected. These security measures help more people come forward and report impending crimes.