Crime is a global problem affecting every country and community and New Zealand is no exception. It is easy to feel powerless when it comes to reducing or stopping crime in your neighbourhood but there are actions you can take to keep yourself, your family and your neighbours safer.
1. Collaborate with local law enforcement
Local law enforcement are the first line of defence against crime, so you should start there. Talk to them to understand the nature of crime in your area. Local police officers can provide crucial information on aspects such as the most common types of crime, the most affected areas in your neighbourhood and what you can do to stay safe.
Another form of collaboration is reporting any suspected cases of crime to the police. Get your friends and neighbours to do the same.
2. Collaborate with your neighbours
There is safety in numbers. Work together with others in your neighbourhood to create effective solutions for reducing crime. You can discuss ways in which you can keep homes safer and how you can better work with law enforcement to combat cases of crime.
You can also hold community events and sensitisation programs aimed at creating working solutions. These programs will not only help potential criminals reform, it will also spread knowledge on how home owners can protect themselves. You will be surprised at how much you can achieve when you work together.
3. Create media attention
Sometimes having the media focus on your neighbourhood can really help things along. This is especially effective in areas where crime has been particularly bad. The extra media attention can help ramp up efforts to fight crime especially by law enforcement.
Use your local newspaper to spread the news. You can also use social media or contact online media organisations to create the attention you want.
4. If you own a business, employ ex-offenders
Unless they can turn to a new productive lifestyle, ex-offenders are highly likely to return to a life of crime. But if they could get gainful employment, it could help them stay clean. As a business owner, make an effort to employ at least one ex-offender. Help other business owners understand that simply because one is an ex-convict does not mean that they cannot be productive employees. If several businesses worked together, it could significantly reduce crime in the community.
5. Equip yourself with knowledge
One of the best tools for change is knowledge. Learn as much as you can about crime in your neighbourhood and how you can contribute to its reduction. Learn how to identify a theft in progress, what to do in case of an emergency and how to identify a suspicious person among other things.
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