People honestly believe that the only way to deal with crime is to move away from it. Sometimes people believe that the police can make crime go away and keep us all safe. That isn’t going to work, it never has.
When I was young I lived in a high crime area. I helped form a crime watch. I got to know my neighbors and I got active in a couple of community organizations.
We actually believed that if we wanted to live in an area with less crime we had to help make it so. Moving is expensive and houses in crime-free gated communities are out of reach for many home buyers.
We learned to pay attention to our neighbor’s houses. There have been many times when I have challenged people that I saw entering a neighbor’s yard. Cameras are nice too but having pictures of getting ripped off is of limited value.
We also locked everything up and we still do. It is wrong to steal and it is still a crime even if valuables are left unlocked and easily accessible but we found that once something is stolen even if the thief is caught stolen items are never recovered.
As a country, we lock a lot of people up and the police shoot people but neither is a deterrent. People keep committing crimes. Crime rates are higher in some neighborhoods.
This summer I a going to be working extra hard in my neighborhood. We have had some turnover and I don’t have a phone number for everyone on my block. I won’t wait until August and the national night out . . which should be held in May. I am convinced that if we work together block by block we can lower the crime rate in our neighborhoods so that no one has to move.