People who fear for the security of themselves and their property can take precautions to make crimes against them less likely. The British police have published crime prevention advice, for example, which noted that “Homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures”.
The UK Government has also published advice on how neighbours can watch out for each other to Help make your neighbourhood a safer place. These ‘neighbourhood watch schemes’ have the advantage of increasing community cohesion as well as helping to deter crime. Potential criminals know that it is more likely that neighbours would notice suspicious activity, and that the police are more likely to be called, where such schemes are in operation.
There has been a marked increase in the number of gated communities in Britain and America. These might reduce the level of crime against those inside them, but they are divisive and increase everybody’s level of fear and distrust – both inside and outside – as described, for example, in an article entitled Why are fear and distrust spiralling in twenty-first century Britain? The fear and distrust, fuelled by sensational media reports and the National Rifle Association, have led to an increase in gun ownership in America – as reviewed in the next sub-section.
If the population takes responsibility for a level of Self-Protection it might pay less tax as a result of the reduced cost of policing. Also, some insurance companies offer reduced premiums for households which have installed crime-prevention measures, and for those in neighbourhood-watch areas, reflecting their effectiveness.