Today I want to talk about a comment I received on yesterday's entry--3 Simple Ways To Reduce Crime.
All blog comments are set to review so I can eliminate spam and, as I say right at the top of the blog page, mean-spirited comments. I actually get more of them than I do spam. My thought is, if you have something you want published in that vein, start your own blog. Of course, then the commenter would have to put it under his/her own name. Since the mean-spirited comments are always under an alias, I'm guessing that won't happen. I did get a 2nd comment yesterday that was truly mean-spirited. If you can't converse without sounding like a preteen, don't bother commenting. I won't lower the tone of the conversation here.
Yet, as I also say at the top of my page, I love reasonable, constructive comments. They can be as critical as can be as long as they're constructive criticism. Even so, sign your name to ANY comment, and I'm much more likely to publish it.
Anyway, here's yesterday comment. I'm addressing it because I think it points out what might be a common problem--neighbors we don't like.
"Getting to know the people living next to you won't work if they are the same ones trashing the neighborhood and encouraging their kids to do the same. " Signed by "corruption in the norristown."
Not sure what the comment has to do with corruption in THE norristown. But let's look at the words themselves.
A lot of us probably have, or have had, neighbors we don't like. In the house connected to mine, I've seen 3 families come and go in my lifetime. One the other side, 7 families/individuals have lived in that house. I've had some horrendous neighbors. One guy always yelled at me if some of the snow I was cleaning off my car strayed into his uncleaned parking spot, despite the fact that our family shoveled off our shared front steps. That was only one example of his obnoxiousness. It came back to bite him--he was a government worker and when he was up for promotion and a raise in security level, the FBI showed up at our door doing a background check. My mom was only too happy to say what she thought of him.
Still, even with the lousy neighbors, we always learned their names and got their phone numbers. Because if something happened--if, say, I saw part of their roof loosen in a wind storm, or a branch of their tree crack, calling them to tell them about it helped to protect MY property. If the tree or roof was taken care of immediately, there was less possibility of damage to my house or car.
Not sure what the commenter means by "trashing the neighborhood." Are we talking real trash? That can be reported to code enforcement. But since yesterday's blog was about crime, I have to think that's what the commenter means. What kind of crime? Vandalism? Other types? (Even so, I can't imagine an entire neighborhood--several blocks--being "trashed" and the police not hearing about it.)
Still, sometimes you KNOW something illegal's going on, but you can't prove it. A couple across the alley from me a while back bred dogs for dog fighting. The surrounding neighbors all suspected that the female dog was abused but we couldn't prove it. The neighbors on either side of the couple (whose names I knew) called the police out several times. Eventually the cops figured out what was going on and even broke up the dog fighting ring (unfortunately too late to save one of the dogs). But the arrest happened because we were all friendly enough on the block to compare notes. I should mention that none of the neighbors knew the couples' names because they were careful to avoid contact. Another red flag.
I was told by a cop a few years ago that the more the police are called out to house for anything--domestic arguments, etc.--the more they're likely to check that house for drug activity, because drug activity is likely to lead to assaults and other incidents. If you suspect your next door neighbors of being the instigators of crime, talk to your other neighbors about what they've seen or heard, and call the police if there are fights or frequent shouting (we do have a noise ordinance) or other incidents.
So, if you want to keep to yourself, with the excuse that you don't like your neighbors, fine. Raise the drawbridge, shut yourself up in your castle, don't talk to anyone. But if crime does come to your neighborhood, don't complain if you become a victim. Your good neighbors will be watching out for the neighbors they know and not you.