According to the Community Crime Prevention Guide from the government of British Columbia, crime happens when three things occur in the same time and space - a suitable target is present; a motivated offender is present; and there is encouragement for crime to occur or no one is there to discourage the act. However, there are measures you can take as a community to make sure that there is little opportunity for crime to exist within your neighborhood.
Targeting Hot Spots
Crime often occurs in areas called hot spots, where place-oriented strategies of crime are frequent. Increasing police or supervisory presence in hot spots can lessen the opportunity for crime. Major public gatherings, such as outdoor concerts or fairs can be considered hot spots, as they have a history of potential problems including public intoxication, fights, and accidents. Careful planning of events from a crime reduction perspective will minimize the opportunity for crime, and provide speedy responses to any issues or emergencies.
Communities can use their network of members to collaborate and reach mutual goals and shared responsibility when it comes to crime prevention. Some ideas on neighborhood collaboration include sharing specialized skills with one another, brainstorming crime-prevention ideas, co-ordinating services or initiatives, finding volunteers for a neighborhood watch program, donation of space or equipment, and fundraising for prevention installations.
Involve the Media
The media can play a key component in crime prevention. For many, media is the number one (and sometimes only) source of information regarding the criminal justice system. The media can be an excellent partner in crime reduction, as it can promote your prevention efforts and relay community-safety messages. To gain community support, you can develop a communications strategy using various marketing tools such as: posters, newsletters, flyers, radio or television bites, and community events.
More Tips for Crime Prevention
• Always be wary of who is at your door. If you don’t know them,
don’t answer it.
• Always bring your cell phone with you when you are by yourself.
• Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home; put it in a bank where
it is safe.
• Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
• Trust your gut. If something seems “off” – go with your instinct.
When it comes to creating a community crime prevention team, keep these partners in mind -
Corrections Officers, Police Officers, Crime Prevention associations, Government agencies,
Community organizations, Youth organizations, Small businesses, Large corporations, Media,
Schools, Representatives from diverse communities, Libraries, and Community Recreational Centres