Brookside Colony has organized a Neighborhood Blockwatch with the Columbus Police Department. Alerts and crime watch information relevant to our neighborhood are circulated to residents via e-mail:

What is a Neighborhood Blockwatch?

If properly organized and actively supported, neighborhood Blockwatches are a proven means of reducing burglary and other typical street crimes. The objective is to have neighbors watch for emergencies or unusual behavior and report them to the police. Blockwatch members are trained by police to identify and report suspicious or criminal behavior.

To organize a Blockwatch group, call the Columbus Division of Police, Crime Prevention Unit at 645-4610.

Crime Prevention

Residential burglary is a national, rapidly growing, costly and potentially dangerous crime that can lead to other crimes.

Many people believe house burglars are professional criminals, experts at defeating the most elaborate security measures. Yet, in most cases, residential burglary is a crime of opportunity committed by young amateurs who look for easy targets, like poorly secured homes or homes that look unoccupied.

You can lessen the opportunity and minimize the chance of burglary by making your home as difficult as possible to enter. All that is needed is a little effort to take the preventative steps as desribed in the links provided below.

The quality of hardware and preventative measures described in these links will deter, delay and help to detect a burglar. This will increase the chance of an alert neighbor or area police officer observing the thief resulting in his or her arrest.

Don't forget that burglary prevention goes beyond good locks and household security. It includes being a good neighbor and reporting any suspicious activity, person or vehicle to the police. Neighborhood security requires neighborhood cooperation.

Tips for Home Security

Here is what you can do outside your home to make it less appealing to burglars.

  • Trim shrubs so windows and doors are in full view from the street. A good rule of thumb is no plantings taller than 3 foot or hanging lower than 7 feet. Unobstructed doors and windows are a deterrent because the intruder is forced to work in the open where detection is more likely.

  • Maintain (and use) adequate lighting, especially at entry points. The power company will install a yard/alley light for a reasonable monthly charge.

  • Always keep your garage doors closed and locked. This prevents burglars from entering your home through the door leading from your garage into your home. Additionally, it takes only seconds to walk into an open garage to steal work and yard tools.

  • Don't leave ladders and tools lying around outside where burglars can use them to enter your home.

  • All valuables like lawn mowers and bicycles should be locked in your garage.

  • House numbers should be large, prominently displayed and well lighted to insure they can be easily read from the street. This helps police and other emergency vehicles find your home in an emergency. Urge your neighbors to do the same.

For more tips, consult this "Residential Security" link.

Vacation Home Security

Here are some things you can do to make your home safe while you are away on vacation:

  • Lock all doors and windows.

  • Leave all shades and blinds in their normal positions.

  • Advise a trusted neighbor of your travel plans and ask him/her to watch out for suspicious people and/or activity around your home and property.

  • Call the police department for a vacation house watch. For a Columbus police department house check, call 645-4717. Provide them with emergency numbers, key holders and other security details and they will have a cruiser drive by periodically to check your property as time allows.

  • Don't allow deliveries of any kind to accumulate on your doorstep. If you do not wish to cancel deliveries, arrange for a neighbor to pick them up. Don't forget to have your mail held for your return or picked up by a neighbor.

  • Arrange for lawn mowing or snow shoveling at proper times.

  • Connect one or two lamps and perhaps a radio to an automatic timer. They are inexpensive and help to make your home appear "occupied".

  • Remove all exterior "hidden" house keys.
  • Make arrangements for the care of your pets.
  • Refrain from publicizing your exciting vacation or trip until after your return.
Vacation House Watch by the Columbus Police Department

To arrange a vacation house watch, call the Columbus police department at 614-645-4717.

You will need to provide them with emergency numbers, key holders and other security details. A police cruiser will drive by your home periodically (as time allows) to check your property.