Crime Prevention is an proactive approach using public awareness and preventive measures to reduce crime and better our communities. Police and the community take action before crimes are committed.
Bullying is often dismissed as part of growing up. Once considered a rite of passage; parents, educators, and community leaders now see it as a devastating form of abuse.
Bullying can have long-term effects on victims, robbing them of self-esteem, isolating them from their peers, causing them to drop out of school, even prompting health problems and suicide.
Children who are bullied are often singled out because of a perceived difference between them and others, including appearance (size, weight, or clothes), intellect, or, increasingly, ethnic or religious affiliation and sexual orientation.
Bullying can be a gateway behavior, teaching the perpetrator threats and aggression are acceptable even in adulthood.
Statistics show nearly 60 percent of boys classified as bullies in grades six to nine were convicted of at least one crime by the age of 24, while 40 percent had three or more convictions.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets.
Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, text, and apps. It can also happen online in social media, forums, or gaming, where people can view, participate in, or share content.
Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content. It can also include sharing personal or private information causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying is unlawful or can be criminal.
The most common places where cyberbullying occurs:
- Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok
- Text messaging and messaging apps on mobile or tablet devices
- Instant messaging, direct messaging, and online chatting over the internet
- Online forums, chat rooms, and message boards, such as Reddit
- Online gaming communities
Home and Neighborhood Safety
From simple steps like keeping your doors locked, to starting a Neighborhood Watch program, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent crime near your home.
- Work with your neighbors to keep your neighborhood clean and orderly.
- Keep spare keys with a trusted neighbor or nearby shopkeeper, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge, or in the mailbox.
- Set timers on lights when you’re away from home or your business is closed
- Illuminate or eliminate places an intruder might hide: the spaces between trees or shrubs, stairwells, alleys, hallways, and entry ways.
Safety Tips for Parents
There are steps you can take to help keep your family and your neighborhood safe.
- Know where your children are. Have your children tell you or ask permission before leaving the house and give them a time to check in or be home. When possible, have them leave a phone number of where they will be.
- Help children learn important phone numbers. Have your children practice reciting their home phone number and address, and your work and cell phone numbers. If they have trouble memorizing these, write them down on a card and have them carry it at all times. Tell your children where you will be and the best way to reach you.
- Set limits on where your children can go in your neighborhood. Do you want them crossing busy roads? Playing in alleys or abandoned buildings? Are there certain homes in your neighborhood that you don’t want your children to go to?
- Get to know your children’s friends. Meet their parents before letting your children to go to their home and keep a list of their phone numbers. If you can’t meet their parents, call and talk to them. Ask what your children might do at their house and if they will be supervised.
- Choose a safe house in your neighborhood. Pick a neighbor’s house where your children can go if they need help. Point out other places they can go for help, like stores, libraries, and police stations.
- Teach children to settle arguments with words, not fists. Role-play talking out problems, walking away from fist fights, and what to do when confronted with bullies. Remind them that taunting, and teasing can hurt friends and make enemies.
- Work together with your neighbors. Watch out for suspicious and unusual behavior in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors and their children so you can look out for one another.
For more information, strategies and personal safety tips on how to help keep you and your community safe from crime, please see: https://www.ncpc.org/resources/home-neighborhood-safety/
Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention programs in the country, bringing the public and law enforcement together to deter crime and make communities safer.
The roots of Neighborhood Watch trace back to the days of colonial settlements, when night watchmen patrolled the streets. The modern version of Neighborhood Watch was developed in response to requests from police looking for a crime prevention program involve citizens and address an increasing number of burglaries.
Launched in 1972, Neighborhood Watch counts on the public to organize themselves and work with law enforcement to keep a trained eye and ear on their communities, while demonstrating their presence at all times of day and night.
The program took off quickly: in just ten years, NSA data showed that 12 percent of the population was involved in a Neighborhood Watch.
Neighborhood Watch works because it reduces opportunities for crime to occur; it doesn’t rely on altering or changing the criminal’s behavior or motivation.
For more information on Neighborhood Watch: https://www.ncpc.org/resources/home-neighborhood-safety/neighborhood-watch/
Internet safety refers to the act of staying safe online. It is also commonly known as online safety, e-safety and cyber safety.
Being online exposes us to cyber criminals who commit identity theft, fraud, and harassment.
Each time you connect to the Internet—at home, at school, at work, or on our mobile devices—you make decisions that affect cyber security.
Emerging cyber threats require everyone to do their part to create a safer cyber environment—from government and law enforcement to the private sector and, most importantly, members of the public.
For more information on Internet Safety: https://www.cisa.gov/stopthinkconnect
Warning Signs of Identity Theft
What Do Thieves Do With Your Information?
Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. An identity thief can file a tax refund in your name and get your refund. In some extreme cases, a thief might even give your name to the police during an arrest.
Clues That Someone Has Stolen Your Information:
- You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
- You don’t get your bills or other mail.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
- Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
- Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
- A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
- You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.
For more information on Identity Theft: https://www.identitytheft.gov/
Each year, disasters disrupt thousands of lives and leave behind lasting effects on people and property.
Depending on the damage, local first responders and other assistance may not be able to reach you right away.
There are simple steps you can take now to prepare for an emergency or delayed response. Visit the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services at this link: https://www.dhses.ny.gov/safety-and-prevention or download the pamphlet from FEMA below.