How to prevent crime? Get to know your neighbors
SEATTLE — All week long we’re talking about the small changes you can make to keep your family safe. When it comes to your neighborhood, you’ll hear this time and time again: know your neighbors! Think about it: if you actually know that George from across the street doesn’t come home until 5 every day, but you notice a lot of activity there at noon, you’ll know to give him a heads up, or even call police.
But it can be tough initiating a relationship with strangers; sure, you may do the nod-and-smile when you grab your mail and pass someone next door, but truly knowing each others’ names and how to reach one another can go a long way in preventing crime. Here are some ideas:
Start a neighborhood block watch! And no, that doesn’t mean you take turns patrolling the streets at night. It typically means an initial meeting, and a commitment moving forward to look out for one another, and be vigilant in reporting suspicious activity. We’ve posted some links below to get you started!
In general, as our social media expert Travis Mayfield says, it’s a good idea to seek out your neighborhood council. Surprisingly (or maybe only to me!), a council isn’t just for cities anymore! A quick search online will lead you to a neighborhood council for your area if there is one, and if not, the site for your city will list resources as well. We’ve included a few below to get you started!
In addition to block watches, there are a ton of ways to connect on social media. The best way to find out? Ask your neighbors! Many neighborhoods have Facebook groups, email list serves, blogs, or even a group on the website Nextdoor. Click HERE for more on Nextdoor.
Starting a block watch in Seattle? Click HERE.
The City of Tacoma’s website has a section with tips on keeping your neighborhood safe HERE. They also suggest forming a block watch group through Safe Streets: (253) 272-6824.