When someone mentions crime, what is the first thing you think of? When you hear coworkers talking about a crime over the water cooler, what types of things does your imagination conjure up? People can dream up all sorts of things. That’s okay with criminals, just as long as we don’t think about the things that matter most to them.
Criminals have certain ways of doing things. They have strategies and action plans. They have end goals in mind for every crime they commit. And more often than not, their success hinges on one important factor. This factor is arguably the number one thing criminals don’t want you thinking about: what’s going on around you.
Crime Is Risky Business
It goes without saying that crime is risky business. Criminals are willing to take risks because the reward is so great. Nonetheless, they still do not want to get caught. Criminals take measured risks that give them the greatest chances of success. If the risks of getting caught are too high, forget about it.
This plays into how criminals plan their crimes. It plays into everything from how crimes are committed to when they are committed. If you’d like to know more on that particular topic, check out this in-depth blog post published on the Vivint Smart Home website.
When Burglaries Are Committed
Among other things, the Vivint post offers data showing that most home burglaries occur during the daylight hours. Home burglaries peak between 4 and 7 p.m., but when you add up all the totals from all 24 hours in a given day, you discover that burglaries are more likely to occur mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and early evening.
Why is this? it is because these three particular times are when houses are most likely to be empty. During the day, the kids are at school while parents are working. Early evening is the ‘shift change’, so to speak, when parents are picking up the kids from school and shuffling them off to their weekly activities.
Burglars are cognizant of the fact that homeowners are not aware of what is happening at home when they are not there. It is common sense. But now apply that same thinking to other types of crimes like car theft, home invasion, and arson.
Arson is most likely to occur in the early morning hours when most of the world is asleep. Ditto for car thefts and home invasions. Home invasion is of particular concern because, by definition, the intent is to invade a home while it is occupied for the sole purposes of terrorizing or harming the occupants.
Asleep and Not Paying Attention
Whether it is arson, home invasion, or car theft, the criminals who perpetrate these crimes are counting on the fact that their victims are asleep and not paying attention. Sleeping victims give criminals the edge. Once again, it is just common sense.
A car thief who preys on victims by stealing their cars in the middle of the night doesn’t want his victims actually thinking about how and when car thefts occur. He does not want victims thinking about what makes their cars particularly vulnerable. He certainly doesn’t want them thinking about how they could make their homes and cars less attractive.
The same holds true for any type of crime. Criminals look for easy targets. They look for vulnerable people who are so occupied by other things that they give no attention to their own surroundings. These are people who do not pay attention to poor lighting in parking lots, strangers lurking in the neighborhood, and other such things.
Anyone Can Be a Victim
Another thing criminals don’t want people thinking about is the fact that anyone can be a victim. Why? Because once people realize their own potential for being victimized, they start paying attention to what is going on around them. They become more wary of their surroundings and how those surroundings might make them vulnerable.
Criminals would rather people remain oblivious to the realities of what they do. They would rather people continue thinking that “those sorts of things don’t happen around here”. How many times have you heard that on the news? People say it all the time. They are surprised by criminal activity in their neighborhoods because they never thought it could happen so close to home.
Fighting Back Requires Awareness
Discussing all of this would be of very little value if no solutions were offered. Note that there are multiple ways to fight back, but they all start with one thing: awareness. Anyone hoping to stay safe must first be aware of the risks. How can you protect yourself against risks you are not aware of?
Awareness itself begins with admitting that anyone can be victimized. Realizing one’s potential for being victimized opens the door to thinking about potential vulnerabilities. That ultimately leads to developing strategies designed to increase safety.
Though all of this may sound complicated, it is actually pretty simple in principle. Here is an example that has nothing to do with crime: house fires. Imagine that a house down the street burned down while you were at work. You later hear that the cause of the fire was a faulty electrical cord. What will that knowledge prompt you to do?
If you are like most people, you will go home and inspect all the electrical cords you have. You will probably also look at other things that could spark a fire. You might even be motivated to talk to your kids about fire and what to do if one ever occurs in your home. In essence, you were made aware of a potential threat, and you acted on that awareness.
Pay Attention at All Times
The number one thing criminals do not want you thinking about is your potential for being victimized. They don’t want you aware of your surroundings. They do not want you aware of their activities. They do want you to keep living life oblivious to reality. Your lack of awareness is their key to success.
Infographic provided by Eye Trax, a farm security cameras provider