For most of us, rising crime rates are no longer news to be taken as a surprise. Unfortunately, throughout the last few years, crime rates have been rising, endangering the lives of the citizens and their costly property and other valuables! In the US, a 20% surge in the crime rate was observed in the first half of 2022. These figures are scary but don’t worry; there are ways to deal with them.
Throughout our lives, many of us have heard doctors saying, “Prevention is better than cure.” The phrase fits true and applies to handling crime as well. This article covers steps that can help you prevent from becoming a victim. With that said, let’s go through some of the crime prevention principles:
Nine Principles of Crime Prevention
Learn from the Experienced
There are better courses of action than making decisions based on instinct or experience. It is imperative to seek professional help to ensure you are well-armed for your fight against crime. Professional help refers to seeking advice from trained and experienced individuals who can understand why particular crimes occur and ways to prevent them.
One such example revolves around individuals holding a criminal justice bachelor degree or a graduate degree. Educated and experienced professionals can advise and help you take initiatives that could save yourself and your belongings from potential threats.
Another common practice that you should seriously consider adopting is Target Hardening. It refers to making it difficult for your property and belongings to get stolen/damaged. This strategy is efficient and effective in keeping yourself and your belongings safe.
For instance, you can keep yourself safe by locking your car in a parking space. Moreover, added security, such as steering locks, can help reduce the potential threat. Furthermore, installing a strong security system in your house keeps you and your family safe.
To help counter cybercrime, use strong passwords and 2 Factor Authentication to reduce the chances of being confronted by a cyber-criminal.
Improving Chances of Catching Criminals
Perhaps one of the most important factors that could help prevent you from being victimized is improving the chances for crime to be caught. This will also discourage potential criminals before they even plan to break in.
It is crucial to undergo multiple initiatives. The first step you could take is to ensure your CCTVs are functional round the clock; someone is there to monitor CCTV footage to catch potential criminals. You can hire a private security guard or a security agency to monitor CCTV videos via their control room. Undergoing training to counter a criminal situation, delay the offender, and call 911 can also be helpful.
Look out for Illegal Drugs
The impact of illicit drug usage in your neighborhood could have terrifying effects, even for those not directly involved with drugs. According to a study, drugs are closely related to increasing the crime rates where they are used, mainly because of the illegal transactional deals and common rifts between the dealers.
However, there is a high chance of drug addicts turning into criminals, and they may start targeting nearby residents to finance their drug needs.
A key initiative to put solid resistance against crime is to reduce the profits a criminal makes from the offense. This initiative, commonly known as a Reduced Payoff, can ensure that the risk criminals take in participating in criminal activities is not worth the effort. Here’s what you can do:
- If you have a shop, use dummy products on the shelves of the window and dye alarm tags on clothing.
- Store all your valuable belongings in a domestic safe.
- Don’t leave your car’s keys at an obvious place in your home, store, or workplace where potential criminals can spot them easily and take them away.
- Security mark your property
- Don’t buy a property that you suspect is stolen
Target Removal is another common prevention strategy individuals adopt to drive criminals away. The strategy mainly refers to ensuring that the items or property targeted by a criminal is removed from plain sight to decrease the chances of robbery. Target Removal is highly effective in reducing crime rates since criminals do not find ample items to target.
To ensure effective target removal, you must understand the potential items that can be stolen. For example, removing expensive items from your parked vehicles before leaving, parking your car in the garage, and not hanging your bags at the back of the seat in a busy café. Furthermore, not carrying large amounts of cash or jewelry could also help prevent such cases.
Surveillance is an essential principle in the fight against increasing crime rates. It is a highly effective measure that could help in crime prevention. Improving surveillance in public places, neighborhoods, and workplaces can help discourage offenders.
Ensure CCTV cameras are installed at the correct positions, establish a neighborhood watch scheme, and ask your community members near your residence and employees at the workplace to stay vigilant. Also, if you have high hedges or fences outside your house, remove them.
Fighting crime can be scary yet significant. It makes complete sense to understand why specific neighborhoods are targeted more than the rest in terms of criminal activities. It is crucial to ensure that your area does not appeal to criminals as an opportunity where they could quickly get away with their wrongdoings.
A unified neighborhood against crime can be the key to a crime-free community. It can be achieved by ensuring communication groups of residents in a particular locality are created on the relevant platforms to spread awareness.
Make sure to have healthy relationships with your neighbors, fix faulty street lights and clean away graffiti from walls.
Beware of Online Scams
We’re sure that this term comes as no surprise to you. Over the last few years, online scams have rapidly increased in numbers, targeting many people and their life-long savings. The scammers act as customer representatives of well-known firms and fraud their targets by acquiring sensitive information such as bank information, atm codes, etc. In 2021, Americans lost $5.8 Billion in such scams alone!
While you must be aware of these scams, sometimes it becomes challenging to differentiate between the scammers and the actual companies. Always stay vigilant regarding the information asked over the Internet or telephone, and never share your details.
Also, ask for the authenticity of the representatives, and always confirm the ongoing conversations by reaching out to the actual company yourself. These tiny details could save you from losing your hard-earned money.
The world has quickly changed and is no longer the same place we once considered safe. With rising crime rates, we must keep ourselves and our properties safe against imposed threats. While the government is responsible for mainly dealing with increased crime and its root causes, you should firmly adopt the nine principles we’ve highlighted above to play your part in preventing potential crimes.