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Brochure to Help Start a Neighborhood Block Watch

(Part two of three of a police brochure on what you should know about a Neighborhood Block Watch)

When to Call the Police?

When you need to call the police, you must first make a determination if it is an emergency. An emergency is when the immediate response by police, fire or ambulance is necessary. Emergency can be a life or death situation.

It is okay to be wrong!

The police department knows and understands that citizens can’t always be right about what they think is a suspicious situation. All we ask is that you CALL US whenever you think or feel something is wrong. IT’S OKAY. You won’t be in any trouble with the police. It is the police department‘s job to investigate what citizens believe is right or wrong.

What is Suspicious Activity?

Suspicious activity occurs when a person’s conduct or actions do NOT FIT THE NORM of your neighborhood. It is when your attention is drawn to a person’s conduct that is unusual or different. A suspicious activity is an occurrence that is out of place or should not be happening under normal circumstances.

Examples:

You see in the middle of the night a truck parked down your street with unknown people loading furniture and other items into it. THERE ARE NO LIGHTS ON IN THE HOUSE

Call the police when you think something is wrong any time of day or night.

Know Your Directions

The police civilian dispatcher will ask you for the direction of travel of the person or vehicle you are reporting. Try to pinpoint your location and the location of the suspicious person /vehicle. Be specific or try to be as specific as you can.

When Calling the Police

You can tell the civilian dispatcher you wish to remain anonymous. Depending on the severity of the call, your request may not be possible.

Who steals your property?

Theft is generally a crime of opportunity. Your property is stolen by people who have a desire and opportunity to steal, and then the opportunity presents itself.

Thieves can be family members or strangers. They are often people with drug habits or someone in need of money due to their financial situation. Items such as jewelry, cash, antiques can be easily removed from your home and sold on the street or at a pawn shop.

Your motor vehicle with keys left in the ignition or left running, unlocked doors, poorly installed air conditioners, open garage doors and unkempt properties create easy access to a home or building. These are a few ways to become a victim of crime.

How to Prevent Theft

The easiest way to prevent theft is by not giving the criminal the opportunity to steal your property.

Follow these common sense rules;

Secure all valuables in a locked box or bank safe deposit box. Secure items such as guns, credit cards, and jewelry; do not leave them out in plain view. It only takes a few seconds for your valuables to be stolen.

Video tape each room in your home; inventory all valuables, ex.- computers, power tools, silverware. Place expensive jewelry on a plain white pillow case and take close up photos.

Store your video away from the home. Smart phone owners/users can use their I-cloud. A written inventory can also be made describing the articles. Keep detailed numbers and the original price tag of the item.

(Look for part three starting with “What you should know about criminals” in next week’s New Britain City Journal)