Crime Prevention

The National Crime Prevention Council recognizes the current definition of crime prevention as "the attempt to reduce victimization and to deter crime and criminals." It is the concept of taking proactive measures to stop crime from occurring, and minimizing victimization.

Benefits of Crime Prevention

  • Increased community pride and unity
  • A greater sense of responsibility and personal control
  • Healthier, more interdependent communities
  • Improves the quality of life for every community
  • Engages the community to come together and share concerns

Best Practices in Crime Prevention


Home safety and security is one of the basic components of crime prevention. Most home burglaries occur during the daylight hours because most people are working or running errands.  The first goal in crime prevention is to reduce the opportunity.  The following are tips you can use to protect your home whether you live in a house or apartment complex.  

  • Make your home look occupied.
  • Lock your doors and windows before you leave your home or go to sleep.
  • Place a light outside every door that leads in and out of your house.
  • Leave lights on when you go out.
  • Do not allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away.
  • Keep tools, bicycles, and other valuable equipment out of sight and in a secure place.
  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
  • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots or mailboxes.  Burglars know where to find hidden keys.  Instead consider leaving them with an entrusted neighbor.


From carjacking to burglary or a motor vehicle, to auto theft and kidnapping, a significant percentage of crimes occur in and around vehicles.  The following is information and tips regarding vehicle crimes and prevention. 

Carjacking is stealing a car by force with a driver or passenger still in the vehicle.  What do carjackers look for?

  • Intersections controlled by stop lights or stop signs
  • Highway exit and entry ramps
  • Residential driveways and streets as people get in and out of cars
  • Garages and parking lots for mass transit, shopping malls, grocery stores
  • Self-serve gas stations and car washes
  • Walk with purpose and stay alert
  • Have a car key in hand
  • Park in a well lit area
  • Avoid parking near dumpsters, big trucks, or vans
  • Be cautious of people who ask for directions or pass out flyers
  • Drive in the center lane to make it harder for would-be carjackers to approach the car.
  • When you come to a stop, leave enough room to maneuver around the other cars.
  • Do not stop to assist a stranger whose car has broken down, instead, call for help.
  • If you think someone is following you, head to nearest brightly lighted areas or police station.
  • Write license plate number, make, model of car and call 911.
  • Do not speed or drive erratically to avoid the individual that is following you.


The following are tips on how to keep yourself safe when you are out and about.

When walking or jogging:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • Walk, jog, or run with a companion
  • Do not walk or jog after dark or in secluded areas
  • Be sure to face traffic
  • Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing to improve visibility
  • Keep purse, wallet close to your body
Other personal safety tips:
  • Vary your route and pattern
  • Walk or jog away from bushes where someone can hide
  • Try to avoid using ATMs when alone or after dark
  • When possible, use an ATM inside a bank or store and be alert before using it
  • Have all necessary cards and documents ready
  • Protect your personal identification number (PIN)
  • When your transaction is complete, leave immediately


Neighbors are each others defenders against crime, no one knows your neighborhood better than you.  The following are crime prevention tips on how you can help make your community more safe and secure.

  • Get to know your neighbors
  • Start a Neighborhood Watch group in your neighborhood
  • Get involved, you may have skills that can help improve your neighborhood
  • Look out for each other's children
  • Help those who need a hand in making their homes more secure
  • Involve teenagers in the neighborhood's safety by having them help neighbors who are infirm and in need of their shrubbery to be trimmed, or to assist in neighborhood beautification projects
  • Invite neighbors to work together on community projects


Parents play an important role in the safety and security of their children on their way to and from school.  In an effort to continue promoting school safety, we encourage drivers to follow these safe driving practices.

When driving around or near school campuses, drivers should:

  • Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
  • Follow local school drop-off and pick-up procedures for the safety of all children accessing the school.
  • Do not double park or stop on crosswalks to let children out of the car.  Double parking blocks visibility for other children and other motorists.
  • Avoid dropping off or picking up children across the street from the school.  This forces the children to cross the streets during a busy and congested time.
  • Prepare to stop for school buses when they are flashing yellow lights.  Drive with caution when you see flashing yellow lights on a moving or stopped bus.
  • Stop when a school bus has its red overhead lights flashing, regardless of the direction from which the driver is approaching.  Drivers should not continue to drive until the red lights stop flashing or until directed by the bus driver to proceed.
  • Always watch for children / pedestrians that are walking or riding their bike on the street or sidewalk near the school.
  • Watch for children playing / gathering near bus stops.  Watch for children arriving late for the bus, who may run into the street without looking.
  • Watch for children that are walking or biking to school when backing out of driveway or garage.
For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Crime Prevention Specialist Sara Meza-Medrano at or 323-563-5465.