Neighborhood programs key to stop crime

Published 8:55 am Tuesday, August 2, 2011

There is perhaps no worse feeling in the world than to come home and find your front door standing open, your personal belongings scattered about and your valuables pilfered through like it was an after-Christmas sale.

That is exactly what happened for one Chesapeake family last week, marking the latest in a string of robberies and burglaries across the county.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless and Ironton Police Chief Jim Carey recently shared a host of tips and suggestions that can help residents avoid what these men collectively called property crimes.

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Many of the suggestions are common sense and include things like keeping the doors locked, having adequate lighting around your home, keeping valuable possessions out of plain view and watching who you invite into your residence.

All of these and some of the others are sound advice because, as the old adage goes, most thieves look for easy targets.

But perhaps the best piece of information the law enforcement officers provided was that residents should look into creating neighborhood watch programs.

Creating a partnership network where everybody watches out for one another creates a unified front and gets everyone on the same page.

Whether it is a formalized program with regular meetings and a catchy name or just a loose-knit group of residents taking an interest in what goes on in their neighborhood, the key is for citizens to get back to looking out for one another.

That will help deter criminals and make law enforcement’s job easier.