35 Ways to Prevent Crime

35 ways to prevent crime

There are many ways you can take control and help prevent crime in your home, in your neighborhood, and at your local schools. It’s a matter of communication, commitment, and time.

  1. Work with public agencies and other organizations — neighborhood-based or community-wide — on solving common problems.
  2. Make sure that all the youth in the neighborhood have positive ways to spend their spare time, through organized recreation, tutoring programs, part-time work, and volunteer opportunities.
  3. Set up a Neighborhood Watch or a community patrol, working with police. Make sure your streets and homes are well lighted.
  4. Build a partnership with police, focused on solving problems instead of reacting to crises. Make it possible for neighbors to report suspicious activity or crimes without fear of retaliation.
  5. Clean up the neighborhood! Involve everyone – teens, children, senior citizens. Litter, abandoned cars, and run-down buildings tell criminals that you don’t care about where you live or each other. Call the city public works department and ask for help in cleaning up.
  6. Ask local officials to use new ways to get criminals out of your building or neighborhood. These include enforcing anti-noise laws, housing codes, health and fire codes, anti-nuisance laws, and drug-free clauses in rental leases.
  7. Work with schools to establish drug-free, gun-free zones; work with recreation officials to do the same for parks.
  8. Develop and share a phone list of local organizations that can provide counseling, job training, guidance, and other services that neighbors might need.
  9. Report a crime if you witness it or something you suspect might be a crime. Agree to testify if needed.
  10. Learn about hotlines, crisis centers, and other help available to victims of crime. Find out how you can help those who are touched by violence to recover as quickly and completely as possible.
  11. Recognize that it’s already your problem if violence is about to erupt in your neighborhood.
  12. Consider an event that lets children turn in weapons, especially those that might be mistaken for real firearms, in exchange for public thank-yous, donated non-violent toys, books, or coupons from local merchants.
  13. Start a discussion of neighborhood views on weapons in the home, use of toy weapons by children in play, children and violent entertainment, and how arguments should be settled.
  14. Learn your state and local laws on firearms. Insist that these laws be enforced vigorously but fairly. Support police, prosecutors, judges, and other local officials who enforce laws designed to prevent gun violence.
  15. Emphasize prevention as the preferred way to deal with violence. Ask what schools, law enforcement agencies, public health agencies, libraries, workplaces, religious institutions, child protective agencies, and others are doing to prevent, not just react to, violence. What policies do they have to prevent weapons-related violence? How can they help the community?
  16. Volunteer to mentor young people who need positive support from adults. Programs ranging from Big Brothers and Big Sisters to Adopt-a-School include mentoring as a central ingredient.
  17. Talk with children in the neighborhood about what worries or scares them and about where and how they have felt threatened by violence. Interview teachers, school staff, crossing guards, and bus aides.
  18. Promote public service advertising that offers anti-violence programs and services. Get several groups to cooperate in this effort. Include programs to help kids headed for trouble.
  19. Protect domestic violence victims (and their children) through policies as well as laws that offer them prompt and meaningful response to calls for help and appropriate legal recourse.
  20. Organize to help clean and repair the parks and to report suspicious and illegal activity to the police. Well-kept play equipment and organized activities can attract people back to the parks in large enough numbers to discourage illegal activities. Residents should insist that local government maintain parks, immediately repairing vandalism or other damage.
  21. Adopt a school. Help students, faculty, and staff to promote a sense of community in the school and with the larger community through involvement in a wide range of programs and activities.
  22. Urge adoption of anti-violence courses that help children learn ways to manage anger without using fists or weapons. Second Step, from The Committee for Children, Resolving Conflict Creatively, from Educators for Social Responsibility, and We Can Work It out!, created through Teens, Crime, and the Community, are only three of many such courses.
  23. Join with school and law enforcement in creating and sustaining safe corridors for students traveling to and from school. Help with efforts to identify and eliminate neighborhood trouble spots.
  24. Help students through such opportunities as job skills development, entrepreneurship opportunities, and internships.
  25. Encourage employees to work with students in skills training, youth group leadership, mentoring, coaching, and similar one-to-one and small group activities. Make your facilities available for these activities when possible.
  26. Provide anger management, stress relief, and conflict resolution training for your employees. They can help build an anti-violence climate at home, at school, and in the community. You might gain a more productive working environment, too!
  27. Speak up in support of funding and effective implementation of programs and other resources that help schools develop an effective set of violence prevention strategies.
  28. Offer your professional skills in educating students on costs and effects of violence in the community (including their school). Public health personnel, trauma specialists, defense and prosecuting attorneys, and judges are among those with important messages to deliver.
  29. Help employees who are parents to meet with teachers by providing flexible hours or time off; encourage employee involvement in sponsoring or coaching students in school and after-school activities.
  30. Develop an anti-violence competition, including speech, dance, painting, drawing, singing, instrumental music, acting, play-writing, and other creative arts. Get youth to help suggest prizes. Make it a community celebration.
  31. Report crimes or suspicious activities to police immediately. Encourage employees and families to do the same.
  32. Establish business policies that explicitly reject violent behavior by employees or others on the premises.
  33. Report any crime immediately to school authorities or police.
  34. Help to strengthen links between school services and the network of community services that can help students and families facing problems.
  35. Enlist children from elementary grades to senior high in solving the violence problems in the school and community. Encourage them to teach violence prevention to younger children, reach out to educate peers, work with adults on community-wide problems, and identify and tackle community conditions that they are concerned about

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