Locksmiths agree that knowing what to do after a crime has occurred is an important part of keeping yourself and your family safe. With over two thousand burglaries reported in Boston in the last year, chances are at least one of them took place in your neighborhood.
Knowing what to do in the aftermath of a crime will not only endear you to your neighbors, it will help you and your family feel more at ease and enable you to take action to make your community safer in the future.
Helping out your neighbors
In the period of recovery from a crisis, small gestures that show you care can mean the world to people. Bringing over a plate of food or just calling to check in can make a world of difference to people who are likely scared and upset after being victimized.
Being targeted is an isolating experience so the reminder that they are part of a larger community will likely be very welcome and reassuring. If you are able, offer to help clean up or repair damaged property.
As well as being a nice gesture, visible damage can make your neighborhood appear especially vulnerable to burglars or other criminals scouting the area. If the damage is particularly severe, you might also consider organizing a neighborhood fundraiser to pitch in.
Local crimes are also a good opportunity to talk to your neighbors, both the burglary victims and in general, about what measures they take to stay safe. The most secure communities are ones in which people look out for each other.
Just getting to know your neighbors makes them more likely to call the authorities if they see or hear something suspicious going on on your property.
They may also have ideas or suggestions for home security that you would never have come up with on your own. The crisis can be just the motivation you need to start a neighborhood watch or equivalent formal group focused on neighborhood security.
Could your home be next?
A nearby burglary can also spur you to reevaluate your own home security plan. Burglars tend to return to areas where they’ve been successful in the past, so it’s a good idea to consult a local Boston locksmith on how to update and improve your system after a crime close to home.
You may want to change any security codes or hiding places for keys, and if possible change up your routine so you won’t be so predictable to anyone who may be scouting your neighborhood for targets.
Make sure your locks are in good condition and update them if they’ve started to rust or become outdated.
You might also consider requesting a security evaluation from your local police department or a home security company, where an expert will help you to identify vulnerabilities in your home security and discuss with you how to strengthen them.
What to tell your kids
If you have children, someone they know being the victim of a crime may be frightening, confusing, or worrying for them. Ask them about what they’re feeling and find out if they have any questions related to what happened.
They may want to know why burglaries occur and if it will happen to their home so be ready with age-appropriate answers.
Talk to them about what you do to protect them and use the opportunity to discuss basic safety measures like never opening the door for a stranger.
Help them to identify trustworthy neighbors they can go to in an emergency and make sure they know how to call 911.
It may also be prudent to communicate with other nearby parents to ensure everyone is on the same page and keep false or frightening rumors and misinformation from being spread among the local children.