Crime prevention in an HOA community is the same as everywhere else – we all want our homes and neighborhoods to be safe. HOA crime prevention is as high priority as it gets, and a lot of responsibility is placed upon the shoulders of the HOA board to promote the security and safety of the neighborhood. Although the level to which the board is responsible for the safety of the community is outlined in the governing documents, residents can also help in their own ways to prevent crime from happening in their community.
Crime Prevention in an HOA: 9 Tips to Prevent Crime Before It Starts
You don’t have to be part of the HOA neighborhood watch to do your share in preventing crime in your HOA — just getting involved with your HOA crime prevention efforts can go a long way. A few simple things can greatly discourage theft in the community and keep everyone safe.
We have nine crime safety tips for you that will help you do your part in keeping your streets and homes secure.
1. Well-Lit Exteriors
There are so many benefits to having a well-lit exterior. Not only does nighttime lighting help create a welcoming and beautiful atmosphere and prevent falls and injuries, but lighting can also go a long way in preventing crime in your HOA. Most criminals will want to stay anonymous and undetected, so they tend to keep to the shadows when committing theft in the community.
Of course, they will also be quick to avoid areas that have sufficient lighting at night. Even if a crime is committed in a well-lit area, there is a good likelihood that it will be seen by someone and reported right away or recorded by a security camera as evidence.
2. Keep a Well-Maintained Community
Many crimes tend to take place in areas that are run down, not cared for, dirty, or damaged. If your community is well-maintained with no trace of vandals, adequate lighting, and well-secured fences and buildings, your neighborhood tends to give the impression that there are people paying attention to its condition.
Criminals will be deterred from entering the area or staying there for long. A beautiful community communicates that people care for the area, their homes, and their safety.
3. Encourage Residents to Lock Homes and Vehicles
Crime prevention in an HOA is, for the most part, making it inconvenient to commit a crime. Locking a vehicle or home may provide enough discouragement to keep most criminals from breaking into the property.
Thieves in a community often target unlocked vehicles because they can break-in, steal, and make their exit very quickly. Interfere with one of those steps, and you have already done a great deal to prevent a burglary in an HOA community. The board also needs to do its part to routinely remind residents to lock their homes and vehicles and to never leave their keys in their car.
4. Alarm Systems
When burglars know that the possibility of an alarm system exists in your neighborhood, then that’s already a good deterrent against crime. All but the most determined of burglars will be discouraged by the possibility of discovery as soon as they get in.
5. Educate Residents to Work with Local Law Enforcement
Having residents on your side as you attempt to fight crime in your neighborhood can be your strongest asset. It is a good idea to remind residents that they should report anything suspicious to local police, even if it seems like it’s a minor thing at the time. All residents should be supplied with a list of phone numbers to call in both emergency and non-emergency situations.
To take it a step further, the HOA board can directly cooperate with local law enforcement for crime prevention activities. Let the local police know that your community is interested in any crime prevention solutions they can recommend.
6. Organize Neighborhood Watch
If crime prevention in an HOA is something that you have some experience with, you can consider joining forces with the HOA neighborhood watch in your community.
Setting up a watch can not only make the community safer, but it can also help bring neighbors together as they plan and work together to make their neighborhoods a better place to live in. Just the simple fact that homeowners themselves are on the lookout for crime will keep criminals at bay, especially in cases of insider crime.
7. Stay Updated on Crime News and Trends
Crime prevention in an HOA is also a matter of knowing when to pay extra attention. Are your neighbors getting into online purchasing? Then you and your HOA neighborhood watch may need to be more vigilant against “porch pirates”, those thieves who sneak into porches to steal delivered packages. Are you getting more visitors to your area at a given time of the year? The holidays is another peak season for possible crimes.
8. Plan Your Community Around Safety
For a more long-term measure when it comes to crime prevention in an HOA, both the board and residents should look into working around crime safety. Tall hedges and big shrubs may look impressive, but they can also make it easy for unwanted visitors to hide. In general, large pieces of landscaping should have a good distance away from buildings, to leave a safe gap. The HOA common areas and homeowner properties should have minimal dark spots during afternoons, especially at night.
9. Build a Strong Community
Strong and neighborly communities will always be the best at keeping crime away from their neighborhoods. Neighbors who care for each other will be on the lookout for the well-being of those around them.
HOAs should always do what they can to build tight-knit neighborhoods and to help homeowners get to know each other. Residents who know each other can work together to watch each other’s homes while the other family is away. Plus, the more the people in the community know everyone else, the faster it will be for residents to pick out unusual visitors or suspicious activities in their area.
Crime Prevention in an HOA Involves Everyone
A safe and secure community is a top priority for an HOA. Crime prevention in an HOA is best done as a community, with everyone aware and involved. Like to learn more about how your HOA can get the residents involved in the overall security of your community? Let us know how we can help.
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