Creating safe neighborhoods

On September 22 at around 9:15 pm, a sexual assault occurred at NW 57th and 11 Ave NW. I won’t go into details, but you can  learn more in this this article in the Ballard News Tribune.

I struggled whether this was an appropriate topic for me to write about, since the ebca is all about building community, not creating fear. As I read through the police report, what struck me as poignant was the fact that a neighbor came out to scare off the perpetrator and call the police. That got me thinking about my own responsibilities as a member of this community and what could I do to help make my community safer?

The Seattle Police brochures (links provided below), talk about the Broken Window Theory. “Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars.”

I take this to mean that we  can make our neighborhood unfriendly to crime by being active participants, by caring for our neighbors, by keeping the neighborhood graffiti and litter clean, by picking up after our pets,  and by just taking ownership and pride in the place we live.

Just think, what a difference it would make if everyone on your street turned their porch light on at night.  Crime tends to decline in well lit neighborhoods, because it shows that there is a higher level of care for the neighborhood by residents,  plus it makes the street feel more welcome to neighbors who walk in the evening. I challenge you to take that first  small step and light up your street at night.

It all seems like an oversimplified solution to a very complicated problem, but I know it’s a good step in the right direction.

If you’re looking to take a couple bigger steps, take part in upcoming ebca events that work toward making our community stronger. Check out our Upcoming Events page for more details and share this information with your neighbors.

As mentioned above, here are some helpful links from the Seattle Police Dept:
Your Guide to Neighborhood Safety
Personal Safety – How to Protect Yourself From Crime

North Precinct Contact Numbers

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