09 July 2015

Creating safe communities via community engagement: Do you know your neighbours?

Author :

Nearly everyone I know has an alarm system installed in their home and there is an increasing use of automatic gates and smartphone security applications. As tech savvy individuals, it’s clear to see that we are on the constant pursuit to find premium security to ensure that our families and our treasured valuables will be safe and secure.

But the questions I’d like to ask is are we being paranoid and obsessed with having the latest security system installed in our homes? Do we really need to have a constant video feed of what’s happening in our backyard? Will putting up gates and tall metal walls really protect us from all potential harm?

I hate to break it to you –but the answer is a ‘no’ because the use of technology to prevent crime should not be done in an isolated manner, it has to complement the social approach to crime prevention within neighbourhood. In fact a recent article highlighted that An over reliance on such security measures/systems could make residential communities becoming isolated and socially indifferent to one another”.

Organisations such as Neighbourhood Watch Australasia reinforces this and recognise that building safe and confident communities is a community based approach. Increasing social interaction and integration within communities is vital in driving safety.  

Another question I’d like to ask is whether we actually know who our neighbours are? In this fast-paced day and age, we sometimes don’t even find time to say a simple ‘good morning’ to our neighbours. It is vital to get residents engaged and involved in ensuring safety because it will also drive them to be more involved in other community based crime prevention approaches.

Being tech-savvy and having the latest state of the art security system installed is fantastic but making sure that your community is also engaged is a more holistic approach to create safe and secure communities.

 P.S. If you still don’t know who your neighbours are….set aside 5 minutes just to say ‘hi’ – it’s that simple!  

When Aranei was seven she truly believed she could one day train turtles in the Galapagos. Unfortunately she came to the realization that such a thing could never happen. A couple of years later, she decided to be a conference producer and has never looked back. The best part of her role is exploring different sectors and getting in-depth insights from thought leaders and well-experienced specialists from varying sectors.         

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