Tips for Keeping Your Neighborhood Safe

If we have learned anything from 2020 and being at home more, it is that crime in our neighborhoods across the nation went down. No neighborhood is completely safe, so we remind our residents on various platforms about the 9 PM Routine, which is to make it a habit to turn on your outdoor lights, remove all of your belongings from your vehicles and to lock them. Since some of us are returning to somewhat of a normal routine, we can do several things to help keep our neighborhoods safe and make it difficult for criminals to establish themselves in our community.

1. Neighborhood Gatherings: Host a neighborhood party, not just once a year during Maryland Heights Night Out (September 25, 2021). Organize a chili cook-off in fall, bike rallies in spring and pool parties in the summer. Neighbors who play together know each other and communicate about anything that might be suspicious.

2. Beautify your space: Keep a well-maintained yard because homes with gardens and planters tell strangers that the residents care. Send a clear message to outsiders that you are invested in your community. 

3. Download apps and receive notifications: There are apps, such as Nextdoor and Neighbors by Ring, which allow the communication of emergency alerts, crime alerts, sex offender alerts, severe weather tips, and much more. You can upload photos, videos, and information about suspicious activity in your neighborhood, which is shared with neighbors.

4. Neighborhood Watch: Join your local Neighborhood Watch. If there isn’t one in your community, start one! These organizations provide tips and work with law enforcement to teach you how to keep your neighborhood safe.

5. Welcome Police: Invite the police to patrol your community if you are having issues with speeders, make them feel welcome with a wave when you see them pass by. Keep them abreast of any suspicious activity.

6. Play outside: Encourage outdoor activities so there are always people outside in your neighborhood. Ongoing outdoor activity will deter crime.  

7. Improve lighting: If you notice a streetlight out, notify the street department. Keeping areas well lit makes it more difficult for someone to get away with illegal acts without being seen.

8. Secure your home: Do your part to make it difficult for criminals. Keep your exterior lights on, install a security system with exterior cameras. When you leave your home unoccupied notify the police department, fill out a vacation watch form at www.marylandheights.com/vacationwatch, have a neighbor watch your house and pick up the mail while you’re away.  

9. Teach your children: Let them know they should report anything suspicious to you and/or a safe adult. Define clearly which adults are considered safe.

10. Be an example: Treat your neighbors with respect. Proactively participate in your community and resolve conflicts with patience and communication. Encourage your children to do the same and have zero tolerance for bullying. Promote peaceful negotiations between friends and neighbors.

    Be Safe!