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10 Dec

Bad News – Good News About Crime Prevention

Violent crimes unexpectedly jumped 18 percent last year, the first rise in nearly 20 years, and property crimes rose for first time in a decade.

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported Wednesday, October 17th, 2012, that the increase in the number of violent crimes was the result of an upward swing in simple assaults, which rose 22 percent, from 4 million in 2010 to 5 million last year. The incidence of rape, sexual assault and robbery remained largely unchanged, as did serious violent crime involving weapons or injury.

Property crimes were up 11 percent in 2011, from 15.4 million in 2010 to 17 million, according to the bureau’s annual national crime victimization survey. Household burglaries rose 14 percent, from 3.2 million to 3.6 million.

Unfortunately the numbers are headed in the wrong direction!

So how can there be any “good news” among these statistics?

Well, the good news is that you can reduce the chance of becoming a victim of property crime and household burglaries by following some very basic crime prevention advice. Here are a few of the “biggies” that everyone can do for little or no cost:

1. Reality Check. We all must accept the fact that we can become one of the statistics! The mindset that “These things happen to other people,” is neither reality nor wise. Awareness can prompt us to make simple adjustments that just may prevent us from becoming a victim.

2. Security Check. A simple security evaluation is just as important as having an evacuation plan in case of an emergency (you have one of these – right!). It only takes about 30 minutes. You can download a very good Residential Security Checklist here. You can also contact your local police or sheriff’s department and many of them will send a crime prevention officer to do a free security evaluation of your home.

3. Community Check. Local law enforcement agencies encourage individuals to become actively involved in their neighborhoods. Once again, the local law enforcement agencies can direct you to the contacts in your area. Check your own neighborhood to see if you have a group already started. If not, consider starting one! Another good source is the National Crime Prevention Council, www.ncpc.org.

Watch for further Crime Prevention Articles. Until then – Stay Safe!