Condo, Apartment Neighborhood Watch Safety Is Key to Peace of Mind

In New Jersey, a condo board president was instrumental in launching a neighbor watch program which has received the attention of city officials.

The condo association has taken the extra steps of installing home security cameras too. The local police approved on the idea of using camera security and agree that every layer of protection is a good one.

A neighborhood block watch, which residents can initiate through local police, bands together an educated public to work with police on safe neighborhoods. But it is just one of many ways an apartment or condo resident can help to improve security. Other protections run the gamut from doormen to alarms and surveillance cameras.”

A home surveillance system is effective in 2 ways. The best way is for it to be monitored by a human who can call the authorities if they detect something suspicious. The second best way is to incorporate a digital video recorder that records around the clock. Each method should include software that detects motion and sends an alert. This alert can trigger a human to interact with a non-monitored system and allow for a call to the authorities when necessary.  The recording by itself is a reactive way to catch the bad guy or to at least keep tabs on what goes on around the property.

Recently my own home security system caught an altercation between two neighbors. One neighbor was clearly the aggressor which helped the other neighbor build a case against him.

Sometimes you never know what those cameras will pick up. My neighbor who was assaulted is now making his own investment in home security cameras. Sometimes adverse situations can help people learn to proactively more forward.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Crime Prevention: Sheriff Offers Variety of Security Programs

Talk about proactive law enforcement. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office in Jacksonville Florida area will help residents “burglar proof” their homes, offers a vacation house watch program and will make presentations on a variety of crime prevention topics. The Sheriff’s Office Community Relations Section will send a deputy sheriff to your home at a specified date and time to conduct a burglary prevention survey. These deputies have been specially trained to assist residents in making their homes much safer places to live, according to the release.

Now that’s exactly what every municipality on the planet should require of their law enforcement. Many do, but with budget cuts etc, programs like this often suffer.

Check this out; they have a “House Watch program. A deputy will check your home daily when you are out of town or on vacation. That’s a first! I’ve never seen an official declaration of the local law offering it up in this way.

They also give presentations on the following topics:

Starting a neighborhood watch program.

Reporting a crime: My guess is what to look out for and how to document it.

Computer Safety: Certainly how to keep kids safe.

Computer Crimes: This is probably preventing viruses, hackers etc.

Robbery Prevention: When thugs use guns at convenient stores, gas stations etc.

Burglary Prevention: Home safety tips, Home security alarms etc.

Auto / Vessel Theft Prevention / Boating Safety

Child Safety / Stranger Danger Presentation

Bicycle Safety / Rodeo

Holiday Safety

Residential Crime Survey

Commercial Crime Survey

This just warms the cockles of my heart. If I was you I’d print this out and take it directly to your local police and ask them what they are doing that might meet or beat the offering in Clay County. This is a fantastic way to foster safety and security in any city or town.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to ADT Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel. Disclosures.

Start a Neighborhood Watch

In a nearby neighborhood, kids were playing ball when a foul ball ended up in the bushes. When a boy went to recover the ball he found a loaded handgun in the bushes. Fortunately, this kid was smart enough to handle it in a way that nobody got hurt.

Even the best and most secure neighborhoods have criminals lurking.

We know homes with security alarms and home security cameras are certainly more secure than homes that aren’t properly equipped. But what good is all the security in the world if the neighborhood you live in is a combat zone? Quality of life suffers while you are in your fortress. But there are comprehensive solutions to a safer and more secure community. One of the most effective strategies available to any community is a neighborhood watch.

A neighborhood watch (also called a crime watch or neighborhood crime watch) is an organized group of citizens devoted to crime and vandalism prevention within a neighborhood. In the United States it builds on the concept of a town watch from Colonial America.

A neighborhood watch may be organized as its own group or may simply be a function of a neighborhood association or other community association.

Neighborhood watches are not vigilante organizations. When suspecting criminal activities, members are encouraged to contact authorities and not to intervene.

Objectives of a Neighborhood Watch

· To prevent crime by improving security, increasing vigilance, creating and maintaining a caring community and reducing opportunities for crime by increasing crime prevention awareness.

· To assist the police in detecting crime by promoting effective communication and the prompt reporting of suspicious and criminal activity.

· To reduce undue fear of crime by providing accurate information about risks and by promoting a sense of security and community spirit, particularly amongst the more vulnerable members of the community.

· To improve police/community liaison by providing effective communications through Neighborhood Watch messaging systems which warn Co-coordinators of local crime trends which they can disseminate to their scheme members, and by members informing the police of incidents when they occur.

If you are a self starter and concerned about the quality of life in your community then take some initiative and engage your fellow residents in a comprehensive strategy to make your community safer. Start by knocking on doors with residents who you have a relationship with. Once repore is established determine who they also have relationships with. Then create buzz amongst other civic minded residents and begin to assemble your team.

Involve the local police as they often have systems in place ready for neighborhood adoption.

Arrange a monthly meeting of like minded residents and establish a quorum.

Distribute home safety tips to all those in attendance and in the mailboxes of those who can’t make a monthly meeting. Make suggesting such as fixing broken windows, keeping properties free of debris, locking doors and making investments in home security systems.

It’s inevitable that crime is going to happen, but it’s also possible to gain a degree of control over your neighborhood that makes it difficult for a bad guy to do his job.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on NBC Boston. Disclosures.