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Street Safety Plan: Reducing Crime in Our Communities In recent years, crime has been on the rise in communities across the country. As more people struggle to make ends meet and other important economic issues such as joblessness and homelessness put stress on people’s lives, crime unfortunately has become a common occurrence in many urban and suburban communities. What can be done to help reduce these negative effects and make our neighborhoods safer? Since crime often happens outside, one way to reduce it is by implementing a street safety plan. This could involve improved lighting, improved visibility, installation of surveillance cameras or simply an increased police presence. With increased visibility, criminals are less likely to commit crimes knowing there’s a greater chance of being seen or caught. Improved lighting is often the first step in creating a street safety plan. Not only does it make us feel safer walking down the street at night, but it also makes it harder for criminals to hide in the shadows while committing a crime. Additionally, strategically placed lighting can certainly discourage burglars and other offenders from attempting to enter our homes or businesses. Increased visibility is another important component of street safety plans. This could include putting in more visible public safety cameras, such as those found in downtown areas. Surveillance cameras deter criminals while also providing valuable evidence for law enforcement. It is also important for neighbors to be aware of the presence of strangers, unfamiliar cars, and unfamiliar activity; this is often done by forming neighborhood watch groups. In addition to increased lighting and visibility, increased police presence in troubled areas can also help reduce crime. Increased foot and car patrols in neighborhoods make criminals think twice about carrying out their activities, and help make communities feel safer and more secure. Casual conversations between law enforcement and neighborhood residents can also help build relationships and rebuild trust. A successful street safety plan can make all the difference in the safety of our communities. Not only does it potentially deter criminals, but it can also help create a positive, safe environment for families to enjoy. Taking strides to reduce crime in our neighborhoods by implementing a street safety plan is a noble endeavor and one that could potentially keep us and our families safe.