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Ten Things You and Your Neighbors Can Do To Prevent Violence

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1 Work with public agencies and other organizations—neighborhood-based or community-wide— on solving common problems. Don’t be shy about letting them know what your community needs.
2 Make sure that all the youth in the neighborhood have positive ways to spend their spare time— through organized recreation, tutoring programs, part-time work, and volunteer opportunities.
3 Set up a Neighborhood Watch or even a community patrol, working with police. Get to know your neighbors by name.
4 Build a partnership with police, focused on solving problems rather than reacting to crises. Make it possible for neighbors to report suspicious activity or crimes such as stolen property and illegal weapons without fear of retaliation.
5 Take advantage of “safety in numbers” to hold rallies, marches, and other group activities to show you’re determined to drive out crime, drugs, and violence.
6 Clean up the neighborhood! Involve everyone—children, teens, and senior citizens. Graffiti, litter, abandoned cars, and run-down buildings tell criminals that you don’t care about where you live or each other. Call the city public works department and ask for help with your cleanup.
7 Ask local officials to use new ways to get criminals out of your building or neighborhood by enforcing anti-noise laws, housing codes, health and fire codes, anti-nuisance laws, gun laws, and drug-free clauses in rental leases.
8 Help support victims and witnesses to see that criminals get swiftly and justly punished. Encourage them to testify when needed.
9 Work with schools and recreation officials to establish drug-free and gun-free zones in schools and parks.
10 Develop and share a phone list of crime hotlines, neighborhood watch contacts, and other services that neighbors might need.

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Updated February 4, 2015