Saturday, August 4, 2012

Please Pick Up Newspapers in your Neighbor's Driveway

I cycle.  And since I dont like getting hit by cars, I cycle on back-roads.  And cycling in the back-roads of Arlington, one of the thing that dumbfounds me is seeing piles of newspapers sitting at the end of driveways - announcing to the world that the residents are on vacation and please come rob the house.

Photo by Theilr (CC)
Do your neighbor a favor - for that matter do yourself a neighbor - pick up those newspapers.  Dont wave a flag that there are empty houses in your neighborhood.  You dont want your neighbor's house robbed - and you dont want crime in your neighborhood.

The City of Oklahoma Police gives this advice:
Good neighbors should look out for each other. Get to know your neighbors on each side of your home and the three directly across the street. Invite them into your home, communicate often, and establish trust. Good neighbors will watch out for your home or apartment when you are away, if you ask them. They can report suspicious activity to the police or to you while you are away. Between them, good neighbors can see to it that normal services continue in your absence by allowing vendors to mow your lawn or remove snow. Good neighbors can pick up your mail, newspapers, handbills, and can inspect the outside or inside of your home periodically to see that all is well. Good neighbors will occasionally park in your driveway to give the appearance of occupancy while you are on vacation. Allowing a neighbor to have a key solves the problem of hiding a key outside the door. Experienced burglars know to look for hidden keys in planter boxes, under doormats, above the ledge. Requiring a service vendor to see your neighbor to retrieve and return your house key will send the message that someone is watching. This neighborhood watch technique sets up what is called 'territoriality' which means that your neighbors will take ownership and responsibility for what occurs in your mini-neighborhood. This concept works in both single family homes communities and on apartment properties. This practice helps deter burglaries and other crimes in a big way. Of course for this to work, you must reciprocate and offer the same services.
  • Get to know all your adjacent neighbors

  • Invite them into your home and establish trust
  • Agree to watch out for each other's home
  • Do small tasks for each other to improve territoriality
  • While their on vacation, pick up newspapers and flyers
  • Offer to park your car in their driveway
  • Return favors and communicate often
When I am not on a bike, I am walking the dogs in my own 'hood.  You bet we watch the neighbors - pick up the papers - check on them in storms - help shovel snow.  As GoRemy says, this is my town. Arlington is a great place to live - let's watch out for each other.

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