Law enforcement officers are around to help protect society from criminals. These people go through years of training to learn how to deal with those people who want to live outside the law, but the fact of the matter is that the majority of citizens don’t have any kind of criminal justice degree. That doesn’t mean that regular citizens can’t help the police enforce the law and make the world a better and safer place to live in. You can use these tips to be like Batman and defend your city from the criminal underworld, because everybody secretly wants to be a hero.
Become a Real Life Superhero
You thought the Batman thing was a joke, but you really can become a costumed hero. In fact, there are people all over who regularly dress up in spandex and kevlar and roam the streets doing whatever they can to make their areas a little safer. Unlike Batman, these guys don’t often use fisticuffs to take care of criminals, but rather they focus their energy on making positive changes in their area.
Some real life superheroes help provide care for the homeless, others volunteer their time to picking up litter, but they all keep their eyes open for crimes being committed in their area. In fact, many of these people live in areas where drugs and prostitution are prevalent and alert local authorities to corners that are being used for less than legal activities. Ruining a person’s business endeavour like that can upset some people, which is why most real life superheroes go out on patrol wearing Kevlar and armed with non-lethal weaponry, so this isn’t the path to take for weak hearted citizenry.
Start a neighbourhood Watch
Even Batman can’t be everywhere at once, and most people don’t have all day to hang out and look for criminal activity. That is why the most effective way to watch for crime in a neighbourhood is by getting a group of people together to share the responsibility. Putting a neighbourhood watch together and having regular patrols can go a long way towards preventing and identifying criminal activity.
These regular patrols don’t have to consist of men driving heavily armoured golf carts around while brandishing homemade weapons at any unfamiliar people they see, but that would be a pretty great way to scare off criminals. If that is not an option, just having somebody take a lap around the neighbourhood each night will suffice. The idea behind a neighbourhood watch is to have people on a rotating schedule, so that there is always somebody on the lookout for criminal activity in the area. Having a group like this means backup will be readily available if anybody runs into a hairy situation. Plus having a group of people backing you up makes it much more likely that any actions you have to take to prevent a crime will be successful. After all, criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot, and most likely won’t want to fight a large group, thus avoiding physical confrontations.
Make a Citizen’s Arrest
When a crime is going down, regular citizens do have the right to apprehend a criminal until local law enforcement arrives. That means that anybody who sees a crime in progress can take action to stop a criminal and possibly earn a key to the city of their choice. That doesn’t mean that you can start clotheslining jaywalkers, no matter how annoying they are when they dart through busy streets, as there are many rules as to when and how a citizen’s arrest may be performed.
First off, most places require that the crime in progress be a felony before a citizen’s arrest can be made. This means that you can’t arrest your annoying neighbour who always lets his dog poop on your yard, although you may legally be allowed to throw it onto his porch. You can arrest somebody who is assaulting another, but you better be darn sure that a crime is actually in progress and not some buddies roughhousing. Misunderstandings and the use of too much force in restraining somebody can end up with some nasty lawsuits. It is best to look up your local laws on citizen’s arrests and follow them exactly to avoid any unnecessary complications.
Hang Up Signs and Cameras
OK, this is admittedly not the most Batman-esque way to enforce justice, but it can be a very good way to deter crime. Simply putting up signs stating that areas are under surveillance or even putting cameras, whether they are working or not, can make a criminal think twice about doing any misdeeds in that area. That is because people are much less likely to do something wrong when they think they are being watched.
While signs and fake cameras are good for making people believe they are being watched, an actual working camera is the best thing to have, just in case somebody does decide to commit a crime in that area. Having video evidence to give to police can be extremely helpful in identifying a criminal and bringing them to justice. Just make sure the batteries are fresh and the recorded data is somewhere safe, and you will have a very effective weapon with which to fight crime.
Communicate With Police
Nobody knows how to bring somebody to justice better than the professionals, which is why the best advice can be received from actual police officers or others involved with the criminal justice system. They can be invaluable resources for learning just how to make a citizen’s arrest, the best way to organise a neighbourhood watch, or when to just stay out of the way. That last piece of advice is the one most likely to be heard by a regular citizen, as getting involved with a crime in progress can be very dangerous. That is why police officers have to go through training to learn how to deal with high stress situations that can turn out very poorly for everyone involved with just one wrong move. While everybody wants to be like Batman and swoop in to save the day, that kind of behaviour can often just make a bad situation worse. Perhaps the best piece of advice for enforcing justice as a regular citizen is simply letting the professionals do their jobs.
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