Over the past few months, any fear of street crime that may have been remaining has been overtaken by the fear of terrorism. Terrorism is not unlike other crime. Local police need to be able to investigate, evaluate and disseminate information from and to neighborhood associations and local residents. The need for crime prevention and community policing has never been greater.
Americans and people world-wide want to contribute to the war on terrorism. This can best be done by helping maintain safe homes, safe work places, and safe communities.
Following are basic crime prevention principles:
- Teach community members to take steps to secure their family, their residence, their business and their personal property.
- Teach community members to always be alert and aware of their surroundings.
- Encourage the reporting of suspicious activity through appropriate channels.
- Activate neighborhood watch or block group programs.
- Create a liaison between neighborhood groups and your law enforcement agency.
- Develop a system to disseminate information in the neighborhood in order to:
- Create immediate awareness of potential dangers .
- Counteract false information and rumors that may be spreading.
Prevention is the key ingredient to avoiding or minimizing disasters and tragedies. While it is difficult to show what specific disasters or tragedies may have been avoided or minimized because of prevention, its impact can easily be measured through the reduction in crime, fire, and accident rates over the years.