Tips on How to Fight Crime Against Burglars Don't Become a Victim Crime Prevention Safety in Neighborhood
Neighborhood Watch Programs
We Can Protect Our Homes With These Few Safety Tips
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) there were an estimated 1.3 million violent crimes committed nationwide. Among these numbers 62% from aggravated assaults, 30% robbery, 7% rape, 1% Murder.
Our government and judicial systems continues the fight against crime and reports that and estimated number of violent crimes decreased 4 percent compared to the 2000 figure and 24 percent compared with the 1995 data.
We can do more to protect ourselves by not becoming victims. There are several proven community programs geared to help protect your neighborhood. The Neighborhood Watch Program and Operation Identification, www.opid.org
The Neighborhood Watch program is an organization sponsored by the local police. This program allows you and your neighbors to share the responsibility of keeping an eye on the area and reporting any suspicious activity. Your city will assist you by installing the Crime Watch signs on your block, once you have become organized. Neighborhood crime-watch programs have been proven to reduce crime.
Operation Identification is a program that includes marking your property with your driver’s license number. After marking your property make a list of your valuables and keep it in a safe place. The Texas Crime Prevention Institute, Southwest Texas State University, www.cpiaustin.org recommends displaying an Operation Identification sticker at doors and windows, the presence of the sticker alone is enough to deter a burglar.
Crime Prevention Tips
Tips on Protecting Your Home from Crime:
- Leave interior and exterior lights on when you are away from home.
- Street lamps also deter burglars, if you live in a rural area you can have a utility light installed for a fee, contact your electric company for information.
- Do not leave an extra key under a door mat, flower pot, over the door ledge. Burglars have said that this was the number one method of entry to your home.
- Do not leave the garage door opened or unlocked.
- Thick shrubs and trees planted around the home, offer hiding places for burglars.
- Keep windows and doors locked while at home.
When on vacation the National Sheriffs Association recommends these simple steps
- Have your lawn mowed by a neighbor or lawn service
- Temporally discontinue newspaper service
- Have the post office hold your mail
- Turn down your telephone (so no one can hear the unanswered phone)
- Leave shades and drapes open
- Place empty garbage receptacle in garage
- Alert local police that you will be away
You may wish to invest in a few home security items such as spot lights, window and door locks or electronic security devices.
Windows and window air-conditioning units are the most likely entry methods. Sash locks can be “jimmied” open. A simple method to secure windows is to drill a hole in the window frame near the top and place a nail into the hole. Window locks can also be purchased at your local hardware store. Sliding glass doors can be protected by placing a broom handle between the track and frame.
Door locks should have a double key one inch dead bolt; this type of lock requires the use of a key to open it from the inside as well as the outside. (When removing the key while at home for the evening, please remember to leave the key accessible to family members in case of fire).
Iron grills and gates are not recommended and are considered fire hazards, as they may trap victims inside the home.
Locks are not fail-safe, if it takes a-would-be burglar more than four minutes to gain access to your home; it is more likely they will leave the premises.
If upon arriving home and inadvertently surprise a burglar, do not try to apprehend him, just leave and allow him to run. In most cases the burglar is just as scared as you are and just wants to get away. Remember to study his appearance and phone the police.
If you are being robbed while at home do not panic, most burglars do not intentionally try to enter an occupied home. Do not try to confront him, he may have a weapon and unintentionally harm you in an attempt to save himself. Stay in your room or lock yourself in the bathroom until the burglar has left. Remember a vast majority of robberies are drug related and you may not be dealing with someone who is not in control of their own faculties, it is better to stay quite and out of the way.
Be cautious of door to door sales people, deliverymen and repairmen as they may be burglars posing as someone in order to survey the area.
If a person knocks on the door wanting to use the phone because of an emergency, keep safe by making the phone call for him, while they wait outside.
Most local police departments will encourage you to call the police if you notice suspicious activity, even at the risk of being a false alarm.
By using these simple methods we can reduce our chances of becoming victims.
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