Health Brief No. 29: Neighborhood Safety (April 2013)

Did you know that the degree of safety in your neighborhood can affect your health? Crime rates influence what people do and do not do in their neighborhood. Crime limits the amount of time you spend exercising each week.1 It also limits the amount of time you spend socializing with your neighbors.2 Strong relationships and exercise are important to your health. High crime rates also increase your chance of getting hurt. Helping to keep your neighborhood safe can help improve your health and the health of your friends and family.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Speak To Your Health! Community Survey is a resource that provides information about neighborhood safety and health outcomes in Genesee County. The results of the 2011 survey found that:

  • 53% of Genesee County residents agree that people in their neighborhood can be trusted.
  • 56% of Genesee County residents agree that there are adults in the neighborhood that children can look up to.
  • 52% of Genesee County residents are somewhat or very fearful about crime in their neighborhood.
  • 88% of Genesee County residents believe it is fairly or completely safe to walk around alone in their neighborhood during the daytime. However, only 58% of Genesee County residents believe it is fairly or completely safe to walk around alone after dark.
  • 22% of Genesee County residents believe that neighborhood crime is higher in their neighborhood than in other neighborhoods.
  • 23% of Genesee County residents believe that vandalism is common in their neighborhood.
  • 32% of Genesee County residents believe that there are a lot of abandoned buildings in their neighborhood.
  • 19% of Genesee County households have participated in a neighborhood crime watch in the past 12 months.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Build relationships with your neighbors.
  • Communicate unusual behavior in your neighborhood with your friends and neighbors.
  • Make a list of important phone numbers of trusted neighbors and friends.
  • Set up a Crime Watch in your community.
  • Get involved in clean-up projects in your neighborhood and in your parks.
  • Participate in community activities.
  • Volunteer with local community organizations.
  • Be active during the day.

WHERE CAN YOU GET MORE INFORMATION?

References

1U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration. (2010). Child health USA 2010. http://mchb.hrsa.gov/publications/pdfs/childhealth2010.pdf

2National Crime Prevention Council. (2013). Home and neighborhood safety. http://www.ncpc.org/topics/home-and-neighborhood-safety

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