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Neighborhood Watch

Summer Time is Prime Time for Neighborhood Watch

With beautiful summer weather comes an uptick in property crimes, including thefts from vehicles and other crimes of opportunity.  Unlocked vehicles, garages and outbuildings like tool sheds can quickly become easy targets for someone looking to grab something quickly.

The key parts to being a part of Neighborhood Watch?  It boils down to this:

Secure Your Stuff

This means locking vehicles and doors, even sometimes when you may be home or simply in the back yard.  It also means documenting the things that you own by logging or photographing serial numbers on equipment, firearms, sports paraphernalia and other items so that law enforcement can attempt to match your property back to you if it’s recovered.  You can even engrave or otherwise mark an item with a unique number yourself to identify it.

Know Your Neighbors & Your Neighborhood

Be able to recognize when something is unusual or out of place in the neighborhood.  This means knowing the general routines and vehicles of the neighbors who live nearest you and what kinds of activity is normal for them and for your area.  Some neighborhoods have more or less foot traffic than others at different times of day.  It also means being able to communicate with neighbors about activity you see from day to day and being connected so that you watch out for one another.  This can be accomplished through informal conversations, social media, neighborhood events and meetings, or any combination!

 

Recognize & Report Suspicious Activity

As a general rule, the sound of glass breaking or any other loud noise at an unusual hour is probably suspicious.  Strangers entering a neighbor’s home or loud conversation that includes shouting, screaming or crying is probably suspicious, as is anyone removing accessories or a license plate from a car.  But any kind of activity that seems unusual for YOUR neighborhood could be considered suspicious!

DO NOT CONFRONT but report suspicious activity, especially activity that you witness while it is happening by calling 911 or the non-emergency BGPD number at 270-393-4000.  Be prepared to say WHERE the activity is happening, WHAT is happening, WHO is involved (this is where descriptions of vehicles and/or persons comes into play), WHEN it happened (30 seconds or 30 minutes ago), and any other additional details that would be helpful to the officers responding to the call.

It’s also important to report delayed criminal activity.  Have a designated neighborhood watch person in your neighborhood who is willing to share with police any delayed reports of minor criminal mischief or thefts for which victims don’t want a report.  You never know when your neighborhood may identify a crime wave that is just beginning due to the same small ring of thieves!

For more information about Neighborhood Watch, visit our page here:  http://www2.bgky.org/neighborhoods/watch.php

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