We’d all like to feel safe on our street, and have a neighbourhood community which looks out for one another. Whether it’s taking some homemade cake to the elderly lady next door or picking up the post while the family down the road are on holiday, it’s nice to look after our neighbours. However, there’s no denying that the close-knit feeling of community and the sense of being neighbourly has been last over the past decade or so. It’s rare for street parties to be organised or even to see the children on the street play out together.
It’s time that we made British neighbourhoods safe and friendly again. While associations like Neighbourhood Watch are a start, we need to do more to build the sense of local community and prevent people from feeling isolated. What are you doing to make your neighbourhood a safer place? Here are some top tips.
Get to know each other!
It sounds obvious, but how well do you really know your neighbours? You may make small talk with your next door neighbour, but how about the residents on the next block? There are two reasons to get to know your neighbours – firstly it will build a friendly and caring community, and secondly if you are familiar with your neighbours then you can spot someone suspicious more easily. Make the extra effort to stop and chat next time you run into one another on the street. You could even organise a neighbourhood BBQ or children’s playdate at your house, anything which brings people together.
Improve street lighting
If you find the street lighting in your residential area is poor, contact the local council and get something done about it. Criminals love dark spaces, so a neighbourhood is much safer when it is lit. You can also install porch lights and outdoor lighting at the front and back of your house, and encourage others to do the same to prevent crime.
Take on the youth
A lot of local crime, such as graffiti and anti-social behaviour, can be attributed to teenage boredom. If there is nothing for young people to do in your neighbourhood, then it’s no wonder they start to cause trouble. Create a parent group and try and organise fun days out for teens, or ask them what their ideas are. You could also lobby your local authority to spend some money in your area if youth crime is a problem, so why not suggest a skate park or a new community centre to keep them busy?
Keep an eye on your neighbour’s homes
You should look after your neighbour’s property while they’re away, because you’d want them to do the same for you. If you notice anything suspicious or hear the intruder alarm has been activated, take action. You can also offer to go inside once a day to close the curtains and pick up deliveries, to make it look like somebody is home.
It only takes one person to bring the community together – so why shouldn’t it be you?