3. Stay connected. Many of our local residents have formed road WhatsApp group chats to alert other residents that someone suspicious is loitering nearby, or that there are unusual happenings in the street. It is a great way of staying connecting and looking out for each other. There are also lots of community Facebook groups now that are also perfect for alerting others in the neighbourhood to suspicious activity and sharing information and advice. You may even want to go one step further and set up a local volunteer initiative like Love Your Doorstep’s Community Patrol Project. The project was initially set up to bring local parents and the community together with a local school in Enfield town to help tackle a wave of muggings and robberies in the area. The scheme proved so successful it is now being rolled out into other areas. The local volunteers who patrol the streets lunchtimes and afternoons act as eyes and ears for the local police and are proving a real deterrent to criminals, particularly those targeting children on the streets.
4. Smart lighting. Motion sensor lighting serves as a decent deterrent as do Smart Lights. Smart Lights with away modes will turn lights on and off at random instead of sticking to set times every day. This can help keep your home safe – if your house is being monitored, burglars could get wise to there being a set pattern.
5. Join your local neighbourhood watch group. As they say, there is strength in numbers. Joining a local neighbourhood watch programme will keep you abreast of what is going on and will provide you the opportunity to voice your opinion and make a real difference in your local area.
Other tips we encountered were to ask a neighbour to draw the curtains in the evenings and open them again in the mornings if you go on holiday, and contact the local council if you spot broken street lights. The most popular recommendation by far was to get a dog! Apparently, they are more effective than alarms or lights!