Not everyone knows and trusts his neighbors. I’d like to share a few recommendations with you that will likely lead to better relationships and lower crime.

Plan events to help neighbors get to know each other. Hold neighborhood block parties, beautification efforts and safety fairs. They will provide opportunities for neighbors to meet each other, build positive relationships, and show children that they have a community safety net of caring adults who are willing to help them. Neighborhood events are also opportunities for residents to meet law enforcement officers and other professionals who provide services to the community.

Highlight community crime prevention efforts. Send consistent messages that local law enforcement and community partners are working to prevent crime and build safer communities. Highlight crime prevention efforts in the local media or through the fliers and newsletters of apartment buildings or condominium or homeowners’ associations.

Work with schools to reach parents. The National Crime Prevention Center found that more than 90 percent of parents reported they often or occasionally attend school activities and meet with their children’s teachers.

Those interested in crime prevention should work with school administrators to schedule times to speak to parents. A short presentation at a back-to-school night, PTA meeting, school concert, or sporting event can raise awareness of what parents can do to keep their children safe. Crime prevention advocates can offer to conduct longer awareness sessions on topics such as bullying and drug abuse prevention at brown-bag lunches or evening seminars and introduce school resource officers and other safety personnel whenever possible.

The simple approach of working together with your neighbors so everyone can watch out for suspicious and unusual behavior in your neighborhood is the most effective way to reduce crime where you live. Get to know your neighbors and their children so you can look out for one another.