For far too long, we Americans have relied on police agencies to prevent crime. It is time for that to change. Not only do local law enforcement agencies not have the resources to stop crime from happening, but prevention also isn’t truly part of their mission. Their job is to enforce the law, a task that can only be completed after the law has been broken. So it’s up to citizens to prevent crime.
In cities and counties across the country, lawmakers are reforming the criminal justice system in such a way as to eliminate incentives that would otherwise cause criminals to think twice about what they do. In Minnesota, a group of mayors and law enforcement personnel recently met to discuss the uptick in property crimes they believe are fueled by bail reforms and a reluctance among prosecutors to press charges.
One police official interviewed by the Sun Sailor told the news outlet that he believes “criminals are more emboldened” due to a lack of accountability. If that’s true, citizens cannot wait around for lawmakers to change things. They have to protect themselves.
An Ounce of Prevention
You have undoubtedly heard the old adage that says an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Though the adage applies mainly to good health, it can also apply to crime prevention. It is far better to put the time and effort into preventing crime than having to deal with the aftermath. Often times, it’s worth the financial investment as well.
So what can citizens do to prevent property crimes? Take proactive measures to ensure they do not give criminals any opportunities. Recognizing property crimes as crimes of opportunity is the key. Simply put, criminals look for every chance they can to do what they do. The easier you make it for them, the more likely you will be victimized.
Protect Your Home
You make it easier for burglars when you are careless about protecting your home. You can change that. Right off the top, make a practice of keeping your doors closed and locked at all times – even when someone is home. If your first-floor doors and windows are not equipped with heavy-duty locks, install new locks.
Next, consider installing a monitored home security system from a well-known brand. According to Vivint Smart Home, research data from multiple studies shows that burglars avoid homes with monitored alarm systems in favor of softer targets.
Your home’s security system should include wireless video cameras that offer live feeds of first-floor doors and other key locations. Wireless video cameras make home security systems even more effective.
Protect Your Car
You can avoid having your car burglarized by implementing a few key practices, beginning with keeping it locked at all times. The fact is that the vast majority of car burglaries are perpetrated against unlocked vehicles. In terms of opportunity, never leave valuables in your car. If a burglar peers through the window and doesn’t see anything worth stealing, he will probably move on.
If your car has a built-in alarm system, use it. Park your car in the garage if you have one. When you are out and about, parked in well-lit areas where foot and car traffic are both heavy.
The bottom line is that property crimes are preventable. In many cases, it is just a matter of not being careless. Even if prevention does require some effort, it is better than expecting the police to handle it. The police do not have the workforce or resources to prevent crime. Therefore, it is up to us to handle practice prevention ourselves.