In continuing our series on everyday security, in this post we will be looking at how to keep Nigerian communities safe. The safety of your life, properties and the lives of your young ones largely depends on the safety and stability of the community you live or work.
In any community, security is an issue one can’t ignore. Threats can come from anywhere, so the safety of the community should be the primary concern of its residents. Here are 9 practical tips to ensure the safety of your community.
Start a community watch
Get the community involved in a security watch program. All residents and business owners in the community must be actively involved in this program as security concerns everybody. The streets should be well lit and residents should also have their security lights on at night. Knowing the neighbourhood’s trouble spots and keeping streets and homes well-lit can deter any possible burglaries. When criminals see a well-lit neighbourhood, it makes them think twice before committing a crime.
Hire a professional security guard agency
A community watch is not enough to secure the community, the residents need to contract a security agency to supply them guards who would man the entry and exit points of the community to check traffic of people going in and out of the community. The agency would also assess the area touncover the potential risks and threat to the community; and then create a safety plan to prevent such occurrences. These plans must be continuously re-evaluated to suit the present security needs of that community.
Get to know your neighbours
Whether you are going on a trip or heading to work, knowing your neighbours provides and extra set of eyes on your house. People care about those they know, so getting to know your neighbours and building relationships provides that layer of community and a sense of wanting to watch out for each other. Knowing your neighbours will help in sharing of vital information regarding the safety of the community.
Educate children about security
Children need to know the importance of security, they should be educated on the danger of playing on the road, running off by themselves, or playing alone away from their mates. They should be taught not to talk to strangers or collect gifts from people in the absence of their parents or from people they don’t know. Encourage children to resolve problems peacefully and not through violence and also to report any incident that happens.
Initiate a buddy system
Children should never be sent on errands alone, adults too should not move alone especially at night. A criminal is less likely to approach two people than one vulnerable person. A buddy can be more than just a walking partner. Your buddy can also make sure that you have everything you need to be safe. And, of course, a buddy can always be there to call for help in times of emergency.
Draw the curtains at night
A big screen TV is a less enticing steal if no one knows it’s there. Leaving your curtains open and lights on at night provides a free look into your house, its layout, and the habits of its occupants. Leaving windows open when you’re gone is an invitation for an uninvited guest to come in. Always lock doors securely when in and out of the house. Use iron bars for entrances that have wooden doors as an added security measure.
Create a favourable rapport with local law enforcement
Involve your local law enforcement in community events. Get to know who they are and respect what they do. By creating a relationship with your local law enforcement, you can communicate community concerns more effectively and become an extension of their force.
Create a Cleaner Neighbourhood
Burglars are attracted to unkempt neighbourhoods. A community with litter, abandoned cars and run-down buildings tells burglars that you don’t care about where you live or about your neighbours. Do what you can to control the environment in which you live by starting at home and ensuring your space is clean and clutter-free. To continue the commitment, work to initiate a “clean-up day” and invite your neighbours to join you in keeping your community clean and safe.
Stay current with crime trends
Knowing what is happening in your neighbourhood and those around you can help you understand the possible warning signs of impending crime. Know what’s happening and be ready to report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement. Staying up-to-date with the news and crime trends can help your community stay proactive and involved.
By focusing on a safer community, you can work toward protecting you, your family, and those around you from falling victim to crimes that could leave you and your community devastated.