As the calendar turns and we get closer to warmer weather (which I know cannot get here soon enough) our attention and thoughts will be focusing on spring.
Minneapolis and spring traditionally mean spring cleanup time. At this time of the year, you should remember that keeping your block and neighborhood clean can go a long way to keeping your neighborhood safe. The following “tips” should help you, the Police Department and other City agencies build a cleaner and safer community this season and throughout the year.
Make sure abandoned automobiles are removed
These vehicles are an invitation to vandalism and theft. The City can sometimes tow vehicles that are illegally parked, or autos that do not have license plates, or are inoperable. Reporting those cars to your Crime Prevention Specialist can ensure removal. If you
think a car is abandoned or stolen, a police officer can check it out. If you are unsure, call 311, or 612-673-2345 Police non-emergency.
Make sure you don’t “pile up” problems
Spring cleaning inside your home can lead to problems outside. Boxes and other materials can be invitations for arson. Make sure they don’t pile up by coordinating your spring cleaning with bulk pickup days in your neighborhood. If you are unsure of the dates, call your neighborhood association (see pages 8 and 9 of this Camden News) or 311. If you must place refuse in the alley, be sure that the pile is not near wooden structures or fences that can be easily ignited.
Make sure your lights are working
Light is one of the greatest crime preventers. Check your garage, porch and backyard lights to ensure that they are in working order. Scan your street and alley lights and report outages to 311. Don’t forget about the lights at parks and playlots. Unlit parks can be gathering or hiding places for those who would commit illegal activities.
Make sure graffiti is removed
The best way to defeat graffiti — and the gang activity that often comes with it — is to remove it immediately. This lets taggers know businesses and home owners will
not tolerate them. With the permission of the owner, the City can look for resources that will remove graffiti from brick or glass surfaces of houses, garages or businesses. The City will remove graffiti from street signs and garbage cans. To keep your neighborhood graffiti-free call 311 for graffiti removal, or report repeated tagging at your next block club meeting or crime/safety meeting
Make sure abandoned and neglected buildings are reported
Left alone, they pose a threat of fire and criminal assault. City ordinances can be effective tools for the city to make sure that such buildings are cleaned out, fixed up or removed. Bring problem buildings to the attention of your Crime Prevention Specialist or to your next block club, or crime and safety meeting to ensure the attention and action needed. A quick call to 311 can get the necessary City department aware of the problem as well.