At BluSkills we specialise in conducting residential and commercial security risk assessments, providing detailed guidance on how to reduce your vulnerability to crime.
Whether you are a high net worth individual, farmer or customer service advisor, we all face the risk of becoming a victim of crime.
In this blog we look at the part a community can play in reducing and tackling crime.
Regularly we see a lack of engagement in local communities, none more so than in affluent areas where residents tend not to engage with each other. This may be due to hectic lifestyles, perhaps due to a desire for privacy.
Despite individually spending large amounts of money on technical solutions, burglary, anti-social behaviour and vehicle crime still exist in these communities, just check out the national crime map to see what I’m talking about and click "find my neighbourhood" to view your area.
While working in an affluent rural town I heard a resident’s alarm sounding. I went to check if everything was ok at the property. Nobody was in. I came across a few neighbours, none of which knew a contact number for the owner, none seemed concerned about me loitering around with the alarm sounding, nobody had reported the alarm even though it had apparently been sounding for hours. Ask yourself, Is this the response I want from my neighbours when my home alarm is triggered?
To me this incident just highlights the importance of a community engaging with each other and coming together. It is a powerful tool and much underutilised in tackling crime and is strongly promoted by the Police as well as other organisations such as the neighbourhood and home watch scheme, which I will return to later.
I have worked all over the UK as well as in hostile environments overseas, some could even argue domestically, and the one thing that has always been apparent is when a community is tight knit and aware. It ranges from just observing you through to reporting you to others in the area even actively engaging with you as an outsider or as a suspicious person.
You might call this just being a nosey busy body. To a person looking for the opportunity to commit a crime it makes for a tough environment to operate in.
There are many ways you can come together as a community. Knowing and regularly talking to your neighbours, especially in remote and isolated areas. Make sure you have contact details for them. Discuss issues or suspicious activity in your area and let trusted neighbours know when you are going to be away and who may be visiting your property while you’re away. The key here being trusted, select carefully.
There are of course more formal ways of doing this. One such scheme is the neighbourhood and home watch network. Very well known and established, they offer a great framework and support structure with links to the local Police as well as specialist assistance from experts and businesses. On top of this insurers may even offer discount to areas which subscribe to the scheme.
Less formal schemes exist such as social media groups. These groups may be local communities or specific groups such as Farmers or local business, sharing recent incidents and suspicious activity to warn others in the area.
You could even start your own simple group such as a WhatsApp group for local residents, where concerns and suspicious activity could be shared easily and quickly, images of vehicles, descriptions of suspicious people.
North Yorkshire police have a great community messaging email alert network to notify local residents of suspicious and criminal activity in their area, its generally quick and up to date, your Police force will have one too.
In summary an engaged community is a really strong deterrent to crime and the best thing about it, is that it’s free. The effect of many eyes looking out, reporting and engaging suspicious behaviour will far outweigh that which you can achieve on your own and create a non-permissive environment for those looking to commit crimes.
BluSkills provide a range of security services. To find out more about our services and how we can help you get in touch with us here today.