ADT Gainesville, Florida

Property Crime Prevention in Gainesville, FL
Gainesville, Florida is the county seat of Alachua County, and home to the University of Florida, the ninth-largest university in the country. Partially as a result of the constant influx of college students, it is the largest city in North Central Florida, and ranks extremely high on several lists of the best cities to live in. College students and residents of this beautiful city will not be surprised by the amount of prestige conferred upon it. They appreciate its extensive music and arts scene, numerous libraries, welcoming community, and remarkably low cost of living. One unfortunate side-effect of the city’s low cost of living is a substantial and ever growing homelessness issue. Gainesville ranks fifth on the National Coalition for the Homeless’s list of meanest cities in America, with a number of city ordinances in place that specifically target homeless populations. Unfortunately, this does not prevent the population of homeless and often indigent individuals from continuing to grow, much to the consternation of gainfully employed residents. Some believe this to be a contributing factor in Gainesville’s higher than average crime rates in regards to violent crime. Statistics show Gainesville and the surrounding area’s violent crime rates to be only slightly higher than the state averages, but considering national statistics tells a different story. The national average for violent crime is 3.8. Gainesville’s rate is almost twice as high: 6.49% of its population experiences violent crime each year. The majority of these crimes, including murder, rape, robbery, and assault, occur in public. The dubious silver lining is that rates of property crimes, occurring on private property, are significantly lower. On average, 26 out of 1,000 people across the country experience property crime, including burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft. In Gainesville, this number is slightly lower: 1 in 25 residents will experience break-ins or other forms of theft. This slightly lower rate of property crimes can partially be ascribed to the proliferation of home security companies and related affiliates such as locksmiths, fence builders, and private security resources.. Over two dozen companies serve the area, and homeowners and renters alike enthusiastically embrace their services. The most popular alarm companies include ADT Security Service, located on SW 47th Ave; and Crime Prevention Security, whose office is located on SW 34th Street. The level of security necessary largely depends on where homes are located. Crime rates are higher near downtown and the university than they are on the outskirts of the city. Some of the safest neighborhoods in Gainesville include Shannon Wood, Pine Hill Estates, the area surrounding Santa Fe College, and most neighborhoods in the outer regions of the South-West quadrant. Two local police stations serve the Gainesville area. One is located downtown, where most officers are kept busy dealing with inner-city turmoil. The second is located near Santa Fe College. Residents of the surrounding area, located far from the comparative chaos of downtown, enjoy faster response times from the police, and a generally lower rate of break-ins and home invasions as a result. Several Neighborhood Watch oriented organizations, including Crime Trac and Crime Stoppers operate in Gainesville. It is widely accepted knowledge that a healthy and actively maintained relationship with neighbors can provide a first line of defense against break-ins. Even residents of the most cohesive communities will benefit from installing home security systems, though. Should an alarm be triggered, good neighbors will assure that appropriate actions are taken and the authorities are notified as quickly as possible. Neighborhoods in which a majority of inhabitants employ some form of alarm system are statistically safer from home invasion, even for those homeowners that do not choose to take the important precaution of installing an alarm system. When deciding what steps to take toward providing adequate home security, it’s important to confer with surrounding residents regarding existing alarm systems. Although security systems do generally confer a certain level of added security to surrounding homes, in certain circumstances they can increase the risk of unprotected households. Burglars are usually clever enough to avoid targeting homes that are actively protected. If a thief already has one particular neighborhood in mind, and that neighborhood only has one or two houses that do not have active security measures in place, those houses will be the easiest targets. Other factors, such as distance from the road and surrounding houses, inadequate lighting, and the frequent long-term absence of residents can all influence how susceptible a home is to break-ins. Even the most conscientious neighbors will not be able to alert authorities should a house be so secluded that they are unlikely to notice any questionable activity. Living in a generally low-crime area does not preclude the possibility of robbery and other forms of property crime, so it’s important that residents not be lulled into a false sense of security. When deciding whether or not to install an alarm system or other security measures, think about things like the presence or absence of street lights, trees that might block an open view of doors and windows from surrounding properties, and the home’s proximity to frequently traveled roads. Even those not at high risk should at the very least take basic precautions, such as locking doors and windows upon leaving home or going to sleep, securing any valuables in a safe, and being sure to have mail and newspapers held when leaving town for long periods. It’s important for residents to remember that any home in any neighborhood can become a target if sufficient precautions are not taken. The cost of installing an alarm system pales in comparison to the potential loss of property and danger to residents posed by a break-in.