ESA Encourages Communities to Work Together to Reduce Crime
The Electronic Security Association (ESA) provides crime prevention tips for communities
Irving, Texas (Aug. 1, 2013) — Every year, communities across the nation gather to make a stand against crime by participating in America’s Night Out Against Crime, or more commonly known as National Night Out. The one-day event is a part of a nationwide neighborhood watch campaign that promotes local crime prevention activities, strengthens police-community partnerships and facilitates unity among neighborhoods.
In honor of the 2013 National Night Out – which is held on Aug. 6 nationally and on Oct. 1 in Texas – and to help in the fight against crime, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) provides these tips for making your community a safer place.
According to a meta-analysis conducted by the U.S. Justice Department in 2008, neighborhood watch groups are effective in reducing local crimes. A watch group is made up of volunteers within a community who look for and report suspicious activity to the local police department. By providing additional surveillance when police aren’t around, neighborhood watch groups can help deter and detect criminals.
The most important partnership within a watch group is not between neighbors, but between the watch group and police department. Law enforcement officers provide necessary tools and support for watch groups to ensure safe and successful crime prevention in the community. Be sure to contact your local police department for more information about joining an existing group or ways to start your own.
Another way to reduce the risk of crime is by investing in your neighborhood’s curb appeal. Research from the National Institute of Justice found that "deteriorating” neighborhoods (homes with overgrown landscapes, vandalized buildings, trash, abandoned vehicles, etc.) have higher crime rates than those that are well-maintained. Criminals perceive these areas as vulnerable with a low risk of being patrolled or responded to by police.
Talk to your neighbors about joining your city’s community clean-up program. If your city doesn’t offer a program, create one by asking homeowners in the area to join you in your efforts to keep the community both clean and crime-free.
National Night Out may specifically focus on crime prevention as a group, but you can do your part to deter burglaries in your area by investing in a home security system and encouraging your neighbors to do the same. A five-year study conducted by researchers at the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice found that neighborhoods in which security systems were densely installed have fewer incidents of burglaries than neighborhoods with fewer security systems. The study noted that security systems make a home look less attractive to burglars without displacing burglaries to nearby homes.
You can find a trustworthy security company in your area on Alarm.org, ESA’s consumer website. A professional security company will be able to recommend a security system that works with your lifestyle. Then, talk with your neighbors about how security systems protect their homes, as well as the neighborhood as a whole.
While neighbors can help keep an eye on your home while you’re away, they won’t be on watch 24/7. Fortunately, smart home technology can help. An enhanced home security system, complete with surveillance cameras, allows you to login remotely to view the activity in your home from a smartphone, tablet or computer. A recent study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte found that nearly 60 percent of convicted burglars said they would consider the presence of surveillance equipment when selecting a target and more than 40 percent said that would be a factor in prompting them to choose another target.
A trained professional with experience in enhanced home control can help you create an easy-to-use system. Companies that install integrated security systems have a special designation – SECURE+ – which identifies them as experts in home security and integration technology. You can find a SECURE+ integrator in your area by visiting www.secureplusweb.org.
Whether or not you’re taking part in this year’s National Night Out, it’s important to invest in activities and security systems and services that can help protect the safety of your community. It’s time to let criminals know that friends and family are welcome in your neighborhood – not crime.
Established in 1948, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) is the largest trade association representing the electronic life safety and security industry. Member companies install, integrate and monitor intrusion and fire detection, video surveillance and electronic access control systems for commercial, residential, industrial and governmental clients. In cooperation with an alliance of chapter associations, ESA provides technical and management training, government advocacy and delivers information, advice, tools, and services that members use to grow their businesses and prosper. ESA may be reached at (888) 447-1689 or on the Web at www.ESAweb.org.