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3 Ways to Deter Criminal Activity While You’re Away

Atlanta is a great place to live. It’s home to an assortment of wonderful people, vibrant music, movies, arts and other industries, and an array of beautiful neighborhoods — both old and new. However, not everything in Atlanta is peaches and sweet tea.

In this article, we’ll review the crime rates in Atlanta, as well as some of its most popular suburbs and inner-city neighborhoods. We’ll then discuss three ways to protect your home while you’re away, whether you live in these neighborhoods or anywhere in the country.

Crime Rates in Atlanta

While Atlanta may be the third fastest-growing metro area in the nation, with 90,000 people moving here between 2016 and 2017, it’s also a hotbed for criminal activity.

  • The Atlanta metro area had three times the national violent crime rate in 2016, with 1,084 violent crimes reported per 100,000 Atlanta residents.
  • The city was also one of America’s top 25 murder capitals.
  • The overall crime rate in Atlanta is 123% higher than the national average.
  • In Atlanta, you have a one in 16 chance of becoming a victim of any crime.
  • When it comes to property crimes, Atlanta is 114% higher than the national average.

Let’s take a closer look at the crime rates of some of the most popular cities and neighborhoods in the Atlanta metro area.

Smyrna, GA

One of the most densely populated cities in the metro area, the crime rate in Smyrna is considerably higher than the national average in America.

  • The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Smyrna is one in 31.
  • Relative to Georgia, Smyrna has a crime rate that is higher than 68% of the state’s cities and towns of all sizes.
  • The chance that a person will become a victim of a violent crime in Smyrna; such as armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape or murder; is one in 267.
  • Your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime in Smyrna, including motor vehicle theft, arson, larceny, and burglary, is one in 36.

Marietta, GA

One of Atlanta’s largest and most sought-after suburbs, Marietta has one of the highest crime rates in America at 42 per one thousand residents.

  • One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 24.
  • Within Georgia, more than 77% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Marietta.
  • The chance that a person will become a victim of a violent crime in Marietta is one in 241.
  • Your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is one in 26, which is a rate of 38 per one thousand population.

Buckhead

Known as one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Atlanta and ranked among the top 100 wealthiest zip codes in the U.S., Buckhead is a prime target for criminals looking to prey on those with valuable assets stored inside their properties.

  • The overall crime rate in Buckhead is 54% higher than the national average.
  • For every 100,000 people, there are 11.96 daily crimes that occur in Buckhead.
  • In Buckhead, you have a one in 23 chance of becoming a victim of any crime.
  • The chance of being a victim of property crime in Buckhead is one in 25.

West End

The West End is one of the worst neighborhoods in Atlanta when it comes to crime statistics. Those living in this area should take every precaution to keep your families, homes, businesses and other assets safe.

  • The overall crime rate in the West End is 186% higher than the national average.
  • For every 100,000 people, there are 22.2 daily crimes that occur in the West End.
  • In the West End, you have a one in 13 chance of becoming a victim of any crime.
  • The chance of being a victim of property crime in the West End is one in 17.

3 Steps to Deter Crime from Happening While You Are Away

Now that you know how likely you are to be the victim of a crime in Atlanta, it’s time to take some serious measures to ensure protection for yourself, your loved ones and your assets. Here are three things to consider:

Step 1: Assess Your Risk

Do you know how safe your property is? If you think for one second that locking the doors and activating your security alarm is enough to prevent a crime from happening on your property, you’re fooling yourself. Determined criminals have likely plotted out several ways to victimize you that you’ve never even thought about.

And that alarm monitoring service that you think is protecting you will actually do nothing to prevent a crime from happening, it will only alert the authorities after a crime has already occurred.

To prevent a crime before it happens, it’s imperative that you do an audit of your property, looking for any and every way a savvy criminal could use to get in.

If you’re not a savvy criminal or someone with extensive security experience, hiring a professional is a good idea. Someone trained to think like a criminal and well-versed in the latest security tools, technologies and methodologies can give you a comprehensive overview of your property, pinpointing where your vulnerabilities lie and how to fix them. By taking care of the issues facing your home now, you’ll feel that much more secure when you leave.

Step 2: Reinforce Your Property

Burglars will typically avoid a house if it is too difficult to gain entry. After assessing your risk, you should have a good idea of what you need to do to increase the security of your home. This may include:

  • Additional exterior lighting
  • Updated locks
  • Optimizing your alarm system
  • Video monitoring
  • Reinforced entry points
  • Removing overgrown brush or other structures to allow proper sight lines

Step 3: Give the Appearance of Presence

Some dead giveaways that a homeowner is away for an extended period of time are newspapers piled up in the driveway, letters overflowing from the mailbox, porch lights left on all day and unkept lawns. A few ways to avoid letting on that no one is home include:

  • Placing a hold on your mail delivery from USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.
  • Installing timed lighting to come on at random times throughout the day and night to give the appearance of activity inside the home
  • Asking a neighbor to routinely check on your property while you’re away
  • Scheduling the landscapers to come while you’re away so your yard stays neat looking.

However, if you’re too busy to set these things up yourself, don’t have a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you’re away, or desire a higher level of protection for your valuable assets, an alternative would be to hire a team of trusted security professionals to conduct security sweeps, pick up your mail, install timers, feed the dog, water the plants and more.

The trauma of being victimized by burglary can have long-lasting psychological effects. Anyone in possession of valuable assets should take the necessary steps to ensure their protection while they’re away. Being proactive about the safety of your property goes a long way toward warding off criminal activity.

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