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8 Tips on Safety in Your Community (2020)

Nothing quite derails a community like violence and crime. Living and working independently means being able to explore within your community and utilize its resources safely and with confidence. In this blog, we will be touching on San Diego’s past criminal history, our current criminal trends, tips you can implement to enhance your community’s safety, and how outsourcing a security team can benefit your business and overall safety.

Community Crimes of 2018

Of the various criminal reports that San Diego has encountered, here are just a few cases that have affected many residents as well as communities within San Diego in the past year: 

In January of 2018, Apple stores located in the Carlsbad and Escondido areas were targeted in a series of robberies and burglaries. Unknown suspects were reported for grab and runs of multiple Apple display devices. In many instances, citizens were injured due to them attempting to stop the suspects from fleeing the scene. 

In mid-May of 2018, about 30 burglaries were reported near UC San Diego in La Jolla. According to 10 News, “There were three cases of break-ins and attempted break-ins that took place in campus housing complexes.” A resident at the La Jolla Del Sol apartments found an intruder in her home, which stole a backpack, cell phone, and more. Also, two people in the area reported an intruder attempting to remove their window screens.

Similar to the second case, on June 16, 2018, suspects who remain unknown, forced entry and burglarized a residence located in Mount Soledad. San Diego Crime Stoppers stated that “the suspects stole numerous pieces of jewelry with a total value of $250,000.” 
Lastly, an unknown suspect was reported for breaking into five local businesses in Vista between October 25th and November 20th of 2018. The suspect had stolen about $1500 in cash, an iPad, and caused nearly $6000 in damages to the local businesses according to investigators. The businesses affected in this case were Tabacinic Chabad Jewish Center, Tiki Mobile Village, Maximum Recycling, Wholesale Sports Inc, and Get Air Vista.

Current Crime Trends 

In 2017, San Diego boasted the lowest violent crime rate for large cities, surpassing other metropolitan areas such as Phoenix and nearby Los Angeles in safety. However, despite reaching historic lows, SANDAG’s mid-year crime report demonstrates that more robberies and aggravated assaults have occurred during the first half of 2019 compared to 2018. According to their findings, 65 more cases of robbery and 37 more cases of aggravated assault were reported this year compared to the previous. 

On a brighter note, data from the ARJIS crime report shows that as of July 2019, property crimes have decreased dramatically. Based on the ARJIS graph report, we can see that residential burglary decreased from 323 crime counts in July 2019 to a whopping 77 in September! Non-residential burglary also decreased from 296 in July to 77 in September. Although this news merits celebration by San Diego community members, it is important to remain vigilant to ensure this number does not rise. 
Continuing on the topic of crime trends in San Diego, many neighborhoods still suffer from high crime rates. Some of the safest neighborhoods include Coronado, Rancho Peñasquitos, and Del Mar, whereas areas with the highest density of crime include Downtown San Diego and Oceanside. If you are interested in tracking current crimes in your area, check out the San Diego Crime Map that is posted on our website.

8 Tips to Keep Your Community Safe 

Both your office and residential community will benefit from these tips:

  1. Install a Reliable Alarm System/Security Cameras
    • A 2009 Rutgers Study found that robbery crimes were less prevalent in areas where homes had security systems installed. By installing an alarm system, you will deter criminals from entering your property, and in the case of a dangerous situation, you and the authorities will be notified immediately. For optimal safety, consider getting a doorbell camera for when you’re away from home!
  2. Get to Know your Neighbors
    • Getting to know your neighbors provides an extra set of eyes for your property. We tend to care about the people we know. Therefore, building a relationship with neighbors will not only create trust but also a desire to protect and look after one another.
  3. Close Blinds and Curtains at Night: (out of sight, out of mind)
    • You don’t want people looking inside your property, tracking your activity, and viewing where you store your valuables! Criminals are less likely to target your property if they are not tempted by an exposed home or business.
  4. Lock your Windows and Doors
    • This may seem like a no-brainer, but believe it or not, it can easily be overlooked. Make sure your windows and doors are closed and locked securely to prevent criminals from entering.
  5. Be Smart about your Pricey Possessions
    • Having your luxuries out in plain sight can result in break-ins and theft. Place your valuables somewhere safe and out-of-sight to prevent thieves from stealing them.
  6. Employ the Buddy System
    • Criminals are more likely to go after those who are alone. Walk with a friend when you are out and about in vulnerable areas. If you’re walking to and from your car at night, walk with a co-worker, friend, or family member to stay safe and appear as less of a target to criminals.
  7. Host Safe-focused Seminars
    • A great way to stay safe in a work setting? Host seminars! Keeping employees educated and informed about criminal activity in the community as well as how to protect one another is crucial. If your job building has security tools installed, hosting a seminar to teach employees how to utilize them would be greatly beneficial.
  8. Hire an On-site Protection Team
    • By hiring an on-site protection team for your residential/commercial business or event, you will not only be keeping your staff and visitors safe, but also preventing criminal activity from occurring near the area.

Protect Your Community 

It is best to have an on-site protection team dedicated to the safety of the community and residents of the building. A 2017 study published in the Public Library of Science tested the effects of private security agents and crime in public spaces in Southwest England. The study found that victim-reported crimes reduced by 16% and guard-reported incidents increased by 49% when patrol officers were present at the scenes. The overall presence of the security teams provided peace-of-mind and a feeling of safety to the building employees, customers, and visitors. 

On the other hand, the high price and intense responsibility makes hiring a resident security staff an unreasonable goal for many communities. By outsourcing a security team you and the members of your community will be saving money and minimizing risk, all while protecting yourselves from criminal activity. Besides saving money and minimizing risk, a security team serves as an asset to your business by increasing flexibility and alleviating administration burdens. When you choose to outsource for your business’ needs, your security is there to protect and easily adapt to the changing requirements of your business. Furthermore, save the burden by not having to worry about interviewing, scheduling, or training your desired security team – let the security provider take the time and stress out of your hands. 

The best way to ensure residents and employees feel safe in their community and work environment is to foster a sense of security. We’ve made tremendous progress over the past couple years in terms of crime rates, but it is every person’s job to ensure we maintain, if not improve, this current level of community safety. Build a sense of security, prevent future criminal activity, and monitor your community by incorporating our shared tips to your daily routine and by hiring a security team to protect you, your business, and the community as a whole!

Tom Tamar
Tom Tamar
Tom Tamar is the President & C.E.O. at City Wide Protection Services, Inc. The security firm specializes in a full range of security services, consultation and training. Tom is an active SDCAA supplier member and serves in several committees including the Legislative and Editorial Advisory Board.

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