The Crime Prevention Website

The following few paragraphs, written by Alina Lopez of the Miami Herald, is a very reasonable write up of a month long event that I’m sure was of great use to the community.  It all sounds sort of warm and cuddly.......

October was National Crime Prevention Month and once again many communities throughout the nation took part in an event called Celebrating Safe Communities.

It was created in 2008 by the National Crime Prevention Council and the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice in partnership with the National Sheriffs’ Association to promote crime prevention in communities across the country.

Neighborhoods have been participating from small block parties to much larger-scale events. The idea is to get people out of their homes and interact with their neighbors and local law enforcement to help keep their communities safe.

Many Crime Watch groups here in Miami Dade County put together their Celebrating Safe Communities events all month long. These included activities with their district officers and command staff, distribution of crime prevention material, and displaying the police helicopter and the crime prevention bus. Of course, a crime prevention event is nothing without McGruff the Crime Dog’s appearance, and even his nephew Scruff has stopped by at some events.’

Read the rest at:

But the headline says “was a success”, but what was the success?  Was it that all the events went well and everyone turned up?  Was it that the crime prevention material was sent to lots of homes or was it that after a month of activity the crime levels fell and the community was safer as a result?  And if they fell, was it the crime prevention month ‘what did it’?  Unfortunately, nothing in the article actually tells us this and so we have an unfulfilled headline. (I'm jealous of the McGruff dog though - I wish we had one!)

Now you may think I’m being mean and nasty and it may be that the local police in Dade County have been measuring the effects of this initiative and I shouldn’t take any notice of what appears in the newspapers and so on, but those of you who read the story I posted here on 31 October, titled It’s Mine Technology intelligently saying what needs to be said will know precisely what I mean.

In my time in crime prevention we had it rammed home to us that we had to measure the effects of what we did, because if it didn’t work then it was pointless repeating the exercise, so that’s what I did.  The first thing that we dropped (and some of you won’t like me for saying this) was the Home Security Survey, not because we didn’t think it important; no, it was because the evidence gathered by a Home Office study suggested that our efforts were only marginally successful and as there were only two of us Crime Prevention Officers doing them we could make better gains in crime prevention by taking on bigger and measurable projects.  We instead trained up our Home Beat Officers to give advice when they attended a burglary and produced really detailed leaflets.  I had this in mind when I created this website and that’s why you can carry out a pretty comprehensive home security survey on line and then look up all the advice you need.

Success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose and so you’ve got to state that purpose right from the get-go and accept the fact that you might fail.  If you fail, you work out why, change the approach and try again until you succeed.

Whatever the aims of Dade County were I sincerely hope they were achieved, but it would have been better to have spelt them out so the reader could have been better informed.

Take the Home Security Survey on this site:

Miami Herald Dade Special:

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