3 Simple Ways to Keep Your Neighborhood Safe

March 20, 2015

Day after day, ordinary people become heroes through extraordinary and selfless actions to help their neighbors. - Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Fighting crime must begin at the neighborhood level. 

At least that’s the conclusion reached by this 2009 study by the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice

The study found that “a burglar was more likely to respond to crime prevention strategies at the neighborhood, block, or individual residence level than to those at the community, state, or national level.”


Because, according to the study, burglars are more concerned with possibility of immediate detection (like being spotted by a neighbor) and with immediate rewards than with long-term consequences imposed by at the state or national level.

So that’s why we’re encouraging you to be a hero by helping keep your neighbors safe.

Here are 3 simple ways to do that.

1) Get to know your neighbors (and help them out)

Keeping your neighborhood safe first starts with getting to know the people in the homes to your left and your right. 

Once you get on good terms with your neighbors (maybe bring some food over to say hello) you can keep an eye on each other’s home when needed.

For example, let’s say your neighbor is going on vacation. You should volunteer to pick up their mail and clean their yard so it looks like someone is home. Hopefully they’ll return the favor.

Related: Going on Vacation this Summer? Here’s Your Home Security Checklist

2) Update neighbors on crime using the Nextdoor app

While you should always contact the police if you see a problem, you can also keep your neighborhood up to date on crime using the hyperlocal Nextdoor app.

The app lets you post and comment on anything that’s going on in your neighborhood, including criminal activity.

It’s free and super easy to sign up for.

It’s also secure, preventing those outside the community from seeing info about those in the community. The app forces each new account to verify that they actually live in that neighborhood. 

3) Install a monitored security system

Fun fact: a monitored security system not only protects your home but your neighbor’s home as well, according to the Rutgers study.

They found that, as the number of home security systems increased in a neighborhood, the number of residential robberies decreased there as well.