Is crime rising in the Alton area? Well, the answer would probably vary depending on who you asked or where they lived. I myself live in what is known as the Downtown Alton neighborhood and in my opinion crime is rising.
Whether it is the Bank of America on Washington Avenue being robbed or the Verizon store on Homer Adams having its door smashed in, instances like these are happening more often.
I have tried to contact Alton Police Department, asking if the department had seen a rise in crime, and if so what efforts it is utilizing to combat the increase. They have yet to respond, but that’s another story!
At some point we need to not rely on our local, state, and federal governments to “protect us” and start taking steps towards making our streets, our neighborhoods safe again.
A lot of what I am seeing is property crimes, which may be handled by the citizens before the crimes happen. I suggest neighborhood watch groups install cameras on personal businesses and homes. This would be a simple deterrent that may persuade the perpetrator to move on.
We allow ourselves to be victims, it is time to make a stand and fight for our streets. I do not mean literally fight, I mean we can all play a role in making our streets safer.
“So, the first thing is for people to not make themselves a victim,” said Jessica Noble, Lewis and Clark Community College’s Criminal Justice coordinator. “A lot of times people leave cars, homes, campers, etc., unlocked and this is allowing people to take items of value.
“The second thing we can do to not be victims is by not leaving anything of value in our cars that is visible to someone, this includes but is not limited to: phone chargers, ipads, computers, change, anything that is of reasonable value,” Noble said. “The third thing that we can do to protect ourselves is always be alert of what is going on in our neighborhoods.
“We should be diligent and watching to see if there is suspicious activity or if we hear of any we should definitely make sure we are taking protective measures, such as locking our doors, not leaving things out on our porches, lawns, etc, and talking to your neighbors to find out if they have had any issues too,” she concluded.
According to www.journalistsresource.org, citizen policing programs were associated with a “significant reduction in crime.” On average, there was a 16 percent decrease in crime in Neighborhood Watch communities when compared with control areas. However, the results are mixed and show that some programs work well, while others appear to work less well or not at all.
Sixteen percent may not seem like a giant achievement, but it is. That 16 percent means a lot less crime, all due to preventive measures.