Maintaining law and order cannot be done by the Police Department alone. It must be a partnership between the police, who provide professional assistance and authority, and citizens, who take an active interest in the safety of their community.
Community Oriented Programs
Crime prevention is an umbrella for many different community oriented programs. The basic goal of crime prevention is to lessen the ability of criminals to commit crimes by educating the community in ways to avoid becoming the victim of crime.
The crimes we fear the most occur the least. Armed robbery, severe assault, murder, and rape while highly publicized are relatively rare; the average citizen is unlikely to become a victim. Prevention consists of common-sense measures: avoid dangerous areas, especially when you are alone at night, use street lights for visibility, stay in the view of others, walk in groups when leaving public events, and call for police assistance if your suspicion is aroused.
Most Common Crimes
When we speak of crime prevention, in most cases the crimes to be prevented are burglary, vehicle prowls, and vandalism. They are the most common crimes and most likely to happen to the average citizen, regardless of location and social status. Burglary is a crime of opportunity. Burglars and vehicle prowlers seek targets like empty homes with easy, hidden entry. Unlocked vehicles with visible valuables inside are also a popular target. Defense against burglaries, vehicle prowls, and vandalism rest on three principles: