There are many things you and your community can do to make your neighbourhood safer. Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch groups have repeatedly shown the way.
Every community is different and each has its own specific requirements when it comes to safety. Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch groups succeed by taking a clear-eyed look at the needs in their areas and responding with intelligent, targeted and often innovative solutions.
Making your neighbourhood safer is partly about increasing security, but it’s also about reducing the incentive to commit crime. Neighbourhood and Home Watch groups work on both aspects. They initiate security measures and also work to make their neighbourhoods pleasant and friendly places where crime is less likely to happen.
Security measures can include no cold calling zones, key holder schemes, home security improvement drives and even architectural alterations to reduce the potential for crime and anti-social behaviour on estates.
Initiatives for community spirit can include street parties, communal planting and clean-up days, organised activities for young people, community noticeboards, newsletters and workshops.
If you are a cyclist, this Guardian article contains a list of tips about how to protect your bike when you are out and about, perhaps leaving it locked up in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, or how to make sure you're not buying a stolen bike.
To read in more detail about what Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch groups do to increase safety in their communities, have a look at our case studies.
For more information about setting up and running a Neighbourhood Watch or Home Watch scheme in your area, see our toolkits.