Neighbors can be tremendous allies when it comes to creating a safe neighborhood. Today, of course, people don’t get to know their neighbors the way they did a few decades ago, which is a shame because we likely have a few things in common with the people who live on our street. One thing everyone certainly has in common with their neighbor is the desire to keep their block safe.
Take this desire and turn it into action! Befriend your neighbors and form symbiotic relationships. After all, they can be your security allies and you theirs, helping protect the neighborhood you all know and love.
Here are just a few of the ways in which having a watchful neighbor can make for a great security ally.
Notifying You About Someone on Your Property
Tell your neighbors not to take it at face value if they see someone walking around your property who claims to be your landscaper or handyman. If your neighbor has never seen this person before, they should just tell you, “There was someone checking out your back yard around 4 p.m. yesterday. Was that your landscaper?” You’ll be very grateful if, one day, your neighbor helps prevent a crime by notifying you of someone who was not meant to be on your property. You, of course, should do the same for them if you see someone wandering around their yard, looking into windows.
Keeping Your Vacation a Secret
You and your neighbors should live by the general rule that you never let strangers know when a neighbor is out of town. If your neighbor sees someone claiming to be a sales person at your front door while you’re on a trip, make sure your neighbor doesn’t tell that person you’re out of town. Instead, they should simply say you should be home within an hour. That salesperson could be a burglar scouting your home to see if they can have it all to themselves for a while.
Monitoring One Another’s Children
If your child plays in the front yard, then hopefully you watch them while they do. But, we all get distracted sometimes. Ask your neighbors if they ever see your child speaking to a stranger, to go up and introduce themselves to that stranger. If that person were a kidnapper, or a burglar trying to get information from your child, having your neighbor go up and introduce him/herself could scare the person off.
Agree to be Curious
As a general rule, you should all agree to approach and introduce yourselves to strangers on your street. The more burglars realize that the residents of your neighborhood are on the lookout for strange behavior and familiar with who lives there and who doesn’t, the less they’ll want to target your street.
Help with the Elderly and Disabled
If there are any elderly individuals or people with disabilities living in your neighborhood, you should all make a pact to watch over them. The elderly and disabled are often targets of scams, con artists and burglars who don’t usually expect anyone to be checking in on them. Approach any strangers you see wandering around the property of a disabled or elderly individual. Be polite, but ask them who they are and how they know that person. Let them know you’re a neighbor and that you’re constantly looking out for them and checking in.
Introduce Your Children to Your Neighbors
It’s important that your children feel safe going to your neighbor’s home in the event of an emergency. For example, if something keeps you from getting home and the babysitter must leave, then your children should feel comfortable going to your neighbor’s home to hang out there until you can get back.
Don’t look at getting to know your neighbors as an inconvenience. There might come a time when you’re very grateful to have them on your team. And a neighborhood that looks out for each other is a neighborhood that most burglars don’t want to mess with.