How to Stay Safe in a New Neighborhood

According to reports collected from multiple sources, the neighborhood crime rates are through the roof in the United States, and the chart is headed by major cities such as Cleveland and Flint. In Detroit, however, your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime are as high as 1 in 50, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the most violent and crime-ridden neighborhoods are located in Motor City.

To get some context regarding those stats, consider the fact that even amidst this global pandemic, the chances of a US resident contracting Covid-19 are roughly between 0.5 – 0.6 in 50 on an average nationally. Therefore, if you have moved into a new neighborhood recently, taking safety precautions against the possibility of being mugged, robbed, or worse is a must. As to how you should go about it, let us get into the details of that next.

New Neighborhood

Do Your Research Before Moving In

With so much information available online these days, it would be a missed opportunity and a big mistake to at least not do your own research before moving into a new neighborhood. If you are shifting into a city with high crime rates because of work, that is unavoidable, but you can still do your research and find out which ones are the neighborhoods to avoid, and which ones would be comparatively safer.

The internet has vast amounts of data in it, especially when it comes to public information such as crime rates, sentencing records, incarcerations records, homicide rates, etc. Such information could be easily found and accessed online nowadays.

Conduct a Bit of Background Research on Your Neighbors

It might feel like snooping to some, but when you are moving into a new place with your family, and you don’t know anybody personally, or anything about the history of your neighbors, checking out their backgrounds is a safety precaution. Find out more about your neighbors on this site called Public Records Reviews, which provides its users direct access to all publicly available background information about anyone they want to investigate for safety purposes. This includes but isn’t limited to sentencing records, court records, conviction and criminal charges records, arrest records, incarceration records and sheriff records.

Advanced Safety Precautions

Think about personal protection to both prevent and tackle an emergency. To do that, the following steps are advisable:

  • Put in a reliable home security system
  • Reinforce the doors and windows
  • Cover all the exits and some parts inside the home with security cameras
  • Invest in powerful motion-activated exterior lights; they are often surprisingly effective
  • Depending on the legal system and the severity of the neighborhood’s crime rates, personal safety equipment might also be considered necessary
  • A convincing false wall is often a more secure place for your valuables than an openly visible safe which draws attention
  • Have 911 and the local precinct’s number on speed dial; make everyone in your family do the same
  • Don’t be out too late and carry appropriate safety equipment with you, if you must go out/come back home late at night

Local Precinct

Visit the Local Precinct

If you have already moved in, the police are going to be your best bet at staying safe if something does go wrong. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to visit the local cops for a friendly introduction.

Additionally, they should be able to tell you how safe or unsafe your street is and provide more information about your neighbors, in case any of them has a criminal record that you should be aware of. Sexual offenders and known gang members are usually red flagged by the police, so the cops would be able to tell you whom you should watch out for and what you can do to avoid unpleasant encounters with convicted criminals in the area.

Be Polite, But Don’t Be Accommodating

It’s a good idea to get your neighbors checked first for sentencing records and criminal charges, before approaching them for a friendly introduction. However, you do not want to be rude or too accommodating to known criminals either. For example, it would be rude to visit everyone on your street for an introduction except a known ex-con, and that puts both you and your family at risk. It is better to skip the introductions altogether in such a situation or visit everyone in the neighborhood for a short and courteous visit, regardless of their past.

The other common mistake is believing that you can be in the good books of a local crime lord by being extra accommodating to them. That is an even bigger recipe for disaster since it has never led to good things. Chances are that you would be targeted as an easy mark, and they will either try to use you somehow or get more information about you, your family, your finances, etc. before putting their exploitative plan into action. Also, being closely associated with known criminals will not reflect well on you with the authorities.

Take the middle path and be a polite neighbor to everyone, but have a stern mindset regarding when to stop being accommodating. This does not apply to everyone because not every ex-con is dangerous. However, since you have just moved in with your family, it is better to err on the side of caution initially.

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