2007 in North Carolina saw four times more property crimes than all other crimes combined, and a clearance rate of less than 15%. This means over 85% of property crime cases, state wide, go unresolved. Until now, the response by North Carolina's law enforcement and citizens to property crime has been primarily reactive. Only after the crime has been committed does law enforcement get involved and after the crime has been investigated there is very little done in the way of advising the victim on future crime prevention.
Law enforcement officials talk tough about stopping crime, but the statistics tell the truth; property crime is embarrassingly out of control! The techniques used by citizens and law enforcement do not effectively prevent property crime. Law enforcement officials have the authority as elected public servants to innovate and allocate resources as necessary to protect property by staying a step ahead of crime.
Most law enforcement departments have sidestepped the opportunity to actively prevent crime. Do you receive a monthly or quarterly newsletter from your local police or sheriff's department alerting you to new trends in crime and how to prevent it? Have you ever been visited by a policeman or sheriff's deputy on patrol who saw your lawnmower under the shed in the back yard or the enclosed trailer in your driveway and wanted to let you know that they were at risk of being stolen? When was the last time a law enforcement officer saw you working in the yard and stopped just to talk about crime in your area and remind you to write down the serial numbers on your property?
We are responsible for protecting our own property. We also elect sheriffs and police chiefs to be our partners against crime and inform and warn us about criminal risks. As the economy tightens, property crime will become more rampant and with worries about filling our cars up with gas, loosing our jobs, and putting food on the table, the last thing we want to deal with is replacing stolen or damaged property. Encourage your law enforcement leadership to be more active in crime prevention. We gave them the job when we elected them as public servants. Law enforcement works for us! Remember the next time your law enforcement leader is up for election, not what he or she said they would do, but what they actually did to prevent crime and protect our families. The statistics tell the truth. Let's work hard to prevent crime!