Some simple steps in crime prevention … a team effort

Contributing Columnist

As we begin a new year I would like to address some thoughts on public safety.   As the cooler weather settles in the town of Longboat Key adapts to the ebb and flow of population change with seasonal residents and valued visitors.  With this growth in the community the police department prepares for the anticipated increase in calls for service.  The nature of policing in any society reflects the same basic formula; when the population goes up, so does the crime rate.  Keeping our community safe, and Longboat Key’s many citizens from becoming victims is a team effort.

Although Longboat’s crime rate is measured among the lowest in the nation, attention to a few simple preventative steps can further reduce the chances of becoming a victim. The Longboat Key Police Department is committed to partnering with our residents and citizen groups in an effort to educate on what criminals look for as an opportunity.

History has provided valuable lessons in predicting certain crimes on Longboat with one universal theme emerging as a contributing factor: carelessness.


At home

In years past opportunistic thieves have helped themselves to available property by simply walking into a garage, carport, or home because an owner fails to make doing so difficult.  Crimes of opportunity are by far the most common in the community and most can be prevented by merely removing that opportunity.  At home, don’t invite trouble by leaving doors or garages open when you’re gone or can’t pay attention.  A bicycle left unattended in a carport can be a temptation and convenient to someone of questionable character.  Lock your bikes and secure other valuables if you plan to be away or when not in use.  Many of our seasonal residence take sensible precautions when closing their homes for extended periods.  It’s always a good idea to cancel newspaper service and forward mail avoiding the appearance of an easy target.  Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to regularly visit the house, park a car in the driveway, or make noticeable changes to the exterior.  A quick call to the police department letting us know when your home will be vacant for several days or more informs our patrol to be alert to changes in appearance or suspicious activity.  Some of the best ways to prevent crime are the most obvious and easy to do.


Window shopping

Beach accesses and parking lots can be a magnet for the thief looking for an easy target.  Nationwide one of the most common crimes involves vehicle break-ins, the majority of which could have easily been avoided.  Longboat Key offers magnificent beaches and first class amenities occasionally resulting in congested parking lots and a virtual treasure hunt for the would-be thief.  Thefts occur when the property stolen is more valued that the risk of committing the crime, and when we showcase our valuables in plain view without locking our doors this principle is often reinforced.  Theft related crimes routinely involve the weakest link or the easiest target…so, by securing valuables in the trunk and locking the doors we remove both elements: enticement and opportunity.

The crime rate on Longboat is exceptionally low, and the Longboat Key Police Department is proud to a part of preserving a safe and secure environment for those who share this lifestyle.  But we can’t do it alone, the police and our citizens are in a partnership that only improves with education and communication.  When a crime, or something suspicious is observed, no matter how minor or potentially insignificant please telephone the police department or flag down an officer on patrol.  More times than not a delay in reporting, even a minor concern, compounds the situation and complicates matters. When we work together everyone wins.

In an emergency dial 911

For all other concerns or questions please call 941-316-1977

Pete Cumming

Police Chief

Longboat Key Police Department 

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1 Response for “Some simple steps in crime prevention … a team effort”

  1. Thanks chief for the reminders to the proud citizens of LBK.Its easy to be lax on our island, but the little
    reminders of doing our part makes the partnership work!

    It would be safe to say the majority of us are thankful for your leadership, and top shelf professional team serving us.

    Jim Smith
    Emerald Harbor

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