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When looking for a place to call home, many homebuyers rely on statistics that point to the level of crime in the area and neighborhood to determine if their families will be safe and secure. Many turn to HOA communities because these are either gated or have significant plans in place to minimize criminal activity.

However, no community is completely safe. As a community management company, you can proactively help the associations and residents you serve prevent crime and bolster security. Here are 8 strategies to consider implementing:

1. Urge your clients to partner with local authorities

One of the best things you can do for the communities you serve is to establish and nurture a good working relationship with the local authorities. Those in the community will have a better understanding of local authorities while police officials can get to know your residents better. 

Here are some ways your HOA’s can build those relationships:

      • Include local authority contact information on the community website.
      • Have a member of the local authorities contribute to a community newsletter.
      • Invite local authorities to speak at a community meeting or get-together.
      • Add local authorities to community events, such as block parties, holiday parties, or health and safety fairs.

These discussions can educate homeowners about what to be on the lookout for and how they can work with local authorities to minimize crime.

2. Help your communities share home security and safety tips

It helps to keep the community safe when a community regularly communicates beneficial information to residents through newsletters, community events, and website or social media articles. These tips can help guide community behavior to make better decisions related to securing their homes and vehicles.

      • Create a newsletter column, blog category, and article library focused on safety and security.
      • Regularly host security and safety-themed events.
3. Suggest adding a Neighborhood Watch program

A Neighborhood Watch program not only focuses on reducing crime, it can also be a way to bring neighbors and residents closer together. It’s the old adage that there is strength in numbers. Everyone can get to know each other and their family members to help identify who lives there and who might be an outsider.

4. Have communities create a neighborhood vacation watch

 Beyond just a group program that looks for crime, residents can form a vacation group to help keep watch on each other’s homes while neighbors are away. Knowing when certain neighbors may be gone can mean everyone else steps up and keeps an “eye” out for anything suspicious. Those in the group can also agree to bring in trash bins or newspapers to help minimize the obvious signs that someone is away.

5. Work with security solutions providers

Residents can install their own security systems to their homes, including cameras. However, the HOA can also consider other security solutions by working with various providers to understand where there are vulnerabilities and what solutions can increase security.

For example, Innovia Co-op works with Flock Safety, which offers the first public safety operating system to help neighborhoods, businesses, and law enforcement across the nation to eliminate crime and ensure privacy. The company uses paired devices that capture objective evidence. The security solution also incorporates machine learning to access unbiased investigative leads for law enforcement, providing a way to reduce crime by +70%. Working together, communities benefit from the ability to reduce criminal activity and improve security.

6. Encourage and enforce community maintenance measures

Crimes tend to occur in those areas that are the least maintained, with damage and dirt that tells criminals that no one in that community cares or is paying attention. In contrast, a beautiful community that is well-maintained sends the message that residents are watchful and concerned about their homes and security.

Make sure that maintenance is a priority by encouraging residents to take good care of their homes and the community amenities. Also, stay on top of maintenance and repairs throughout the common areas while also enforcing HOA measures related to yards and external home appearance.

7. Help reduce crimes of opportunity

Help those in your community stay safe by adding features or suggesting tactics designed to lower the opportunity available for criminals. Take away those opportunities to quickly and easily steal, and those criminals will likely go find another neighborhood.

      • Add more lighting throughout the community, including common areas, clubhouse, parks, sport courts, and walkways.
      • Trim back all trees and shrubs that may create natural areas where criminals can easily hide.
      • Consider adding some type of barrier around the community or security gate to the premises. You may even want to make it a guard gate service.
8. Help show the importance of residents staying alert to crime trends in the local area

Crime prevention can also be aided by just being aware of the area’s crime trends and seasonal changes that may mean a greater risk for crime. Over the course of the past year, more residents were ordering online over going out, so the risk of package theft has gone up just as it would during the holiday months. Or, national news stories recently have focused on catalytic converter thefts, car break-ins, and home burglaries across all types of housing communities.

Partnering to Protect

Innovia Co-op’s goal is to work in partnership with independent management companies to ensure the residents they serve always have a better place to call home. If you would like to start improving level of safety and security in the communities you serve, contact us today.