The safety of one’s property is paramount to a home investor or potential buyer. An increasing threat of break-ins and burglaries keeps investors from investing in a particular residential property. As a result, the crime rate of a particular area plays a significant role in determining property valuations. According to Savills, a leading property research consultant, a low crime rate is a priority factor for most real estate investors. An investment-worthy neighbourhood is that which invites outdoor activities and allows people to socialize with neighbours with the knowledge that their properties are safe and sound.
Safe Neighbourhoods in Pakistan
Homeowners can play a significant role in increasing the safety and security of the region. In Pakistan, where most housing societies are not planned, residents of a neighbourhood can play a significant role in making the community a safe space for its residents.
In the following paragraphs, we have outlined some ways in which one can create a neighbourhood that is safer, both for the individual home as well as for the community as a whole.
Establish a Community Watchdog
Community cohesion and neighbourhood unity are important underlying features that make a particular residential area safe and secure for its residents. Forming strong bonds and increasing trust between neighbours’ help cultivate a tight-knit community that focuses on safety and security. To unite a residential neighbourhood for better community management, the neighbours must have cordial relations with each other and healthy communication amongst themselves. A community watch can collaborate with the local police to increase security and accountability in the neighbourhood.
Besides this, the presence of a community watch or organization will keep the residents on the same page. Residents can report any suspicious activity they observe to the community they have formed, and collective action can be taken. By increasing community activities, a potential criminal will know that a community is proactive and willing to take action against criminals. To set up a community in a neighbourhood, residents should post notices, public bulletins, and discuss the idea to gauge the interests of neighbours. Lastly, educating people regarding the benefits of community engagement can help create a cohesive community watch, thereby making the neighbourhood safe and secure.
Area Design is Important
An effective urban design can make a huge difference in making public spaces and neighbourhoods safer by increasing the livability of cities and towns. When a place is designed well, it facilitates the social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits of enhanced civic engagement and resilience. Although crime is a complex combination of a multitude of socio-economic factors, however, better urban design can help in creating a safer neighbourhood.
Suspicious activities proliferate in areas where lighting is poor. If streetlights are inadequate, they will invite criminals to break into a house and escape scot-free. The local government should regularly maintain lights in local neighbourhoods to reduce the chances of such activities.
Visibility and natural surveillance
Residential areas should be designed in a way to increase the visibility of activities occurring in the open. This is because crime is less likely to occur in places where there are clear and well-defined points of entry and exit.
Clean Community is a Safe Community
Although a clean neighbourhood does not have a direct impact on the crime rate, it can help residents get rid of graffiti, overgrown trees and litter. A community clean-up drive encourages a good community bond and better social cohesion.
By hosting a community clean-up residents can get together to remove graffiti, overgrown trees, and litter. This is also a great way to foster stronger bonds between neighbours, and it boosts respect for community facilities which can lead to more effective maintenance. A well-maintained neighbourhood has the appearance of safety and security, which means these types of communities are less likely to receive trespassers. Removing overgrown bushes and trees also creates better visibility in your neighbourhood which makes it easier to spot criminal activity.
The safety of a neighbourhood is a top priority for most residential real estate investors. The residents of a community itself can play a crucial role in making a given area safe from potential criminals and criminal activity. Establishing a community organization or watchdog can help locals engage with local law enforcement organizations to ensure security and safety. Area design, better navigation through the neighbourhood, and a clean and well-kept neighbourhood are factors that can significantly increase neighbourhood safety.