We like to think of a neighborhood as a safe place to call home. While it usually is, bad things can occur in the most unsuspicious places. It’s difficult to be too prepared for break-ins and property theft. By request, we present to you a list of suspicious neighborhood activity tips in case—heaven forbid—something does occur a little too close to home.
The most important step to protecting your neighborhood is forming a neighborhood watch. All it takes is finding a group of concerned neighbors that are committed to keeping your neighborhood safe. Once you have formed a group, you will need to determine the area to protect. Obviously, your neighborhood is the main concern, but determining how far your protection will reach is important.
Next, you will want to contact your local sheriff’s office. The police need to be informed of your plans to conduct a neighborhood watch and they can offer initial assistance. It’s important to work hand-in-hand with your local law enforcement to avoid being mistaken for criminals yourselves! Possibly the most difficult part of maintaining a successful neighborhood watch is maintaining interest among the members. A vast majority of neighborhood watches dissolve after a short period of time. “Hey, why are we even doing this anymore; there isn’t any crime!” someone may say. Try holding weekly meetings or fun activities for members to stay interested.
Recognizing Suspicious Activity
While having a neighborhood watch is crucial to maintaining a safe neighborhood, it’s just as important to be able to recognize suspicious activity. Some activities may be more obvious than others. Thanks to KCBD, we are able to offer you a great list of critical suspicious actives of which to be on high alert.
“Sounds are very important as to suspicious, criminal or dangerous activities within your neighborhood. Remember, Neighborhood Watch is using both your eyes and ears… immediately call the police, if you observe suspicious activities of any kind.”
- Screaming: Obviously, screaming is a very concerning noise to hear. Usually neighborhood watch works exclusively at night, so any screaming heard is probably bad. Continuous screaming usually means someone is hurt or in danger.
- Alarm: Any alarm heard should treated as a real alarm and not a false alarm. Fire, burglar, car, or any alarm heard should result in contacting the police to investigate. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and it could result in saving someone’s life.
- Breaking Glass: Like screaming, breaking glass is almost certainly a sign of trouble. Breaking glass is most likely someone attempting to break into a home or even a car and should result in immediately contacting the police.
- Sounds of an Attack: Screaming isn’t the only sound you’ll hear during an attack. You could hear what appears to be someone being hit, beaten or even knocked around by another without any screams. If you hear a gun shot—or any sound that even resembles a gun shot—you should immediately report it to the police.
- Loitering: People loitering outside of a house or business—especially if a business is closed or house is unoccupied—can be a potential threat. Also keep a watchful eye if a person is loitering around a parked car of any schools, parks or secluded areas.
- Fake Delivery or Sales Person: It’s not uncommon for a potential burglar to pose as a delivery or sales person to gain access to a home. Hey, it happens all the time in the home security biz! You know how many people pretend to be Protect America reps? (We don’t have reps in most cities, FYI.) If these impostors can get a closer look at the home they plan on targeting next, it could make their job easier. Ask your neighbor if they were expecting a delivery just to be safe.
- Running: It should be apparent who is running for exercise and who is running from a crime scene. It might be worth prying if you see someone running in the dark, while non-traditional exercise clothing, carrying an object, looking over their shoulder, or shouting.
While protecting your neighborhood is a very important and noble thing, protecting your own home should be your first concern. If you are interested in a professionally-monitored home security company with over a quarter-century experience protecting hundreds of thousands of homes, contact Protect America for an obligation-free quote.