Want less crime? Arlington police say take some simple precautions yourself

While the overall crime rate is down regionwide, in 2019 there’s an increase in the number of people calling police in Arlington, Virginia; and the police chief thinks it is because people are becoming engaged with law enforcement. And that’s a good thing.

Everyone has a role to play in lowering the crime rate, including regular citizens.

“When we talk about situational awareness, it doesn’t mean that it’s a heightened sense that’s negative. It just means that you’re aware of what’s going on around you,” Chief M. Jay Farr said.

He said if you really want less crime, say something if you see something.

“Pay attention to your surroundings, just be engaged in the day-to-day of how you operate. That, to me, could help us tremendously,” Farr said.

He said that police will respond to calls from people who report that something is not in order or not right.

“Give us a call and let us look at it before it becomes an issue,” Farr said. “The law enforcement officers around here are all very attuned to this and will respond to that, and you’re not wasting our time.”

And, if police come to your door asking for assistance, Farr implores you to help.

“Work with us,” he said, adding that officers are not trying to make your life difficult; they just might need some information to help the entire community.

Property crimes, such as thefts from cars, are the most common types of crime in the D.C. area.

“I could probably reduce my overall larcenies by 50% if I could get people to lock their car and take their valuables out at night. But, that’s a hard sell,” Farr said with a sigh.

Simple precautions that Farr said take little time and effort include securing your car, locking your house and not becoming lost in what you might be examining or listening to with your smartphone.

Terrorism and violent crime are not the only things you might be able to thwart by acting upon advice that if you, “see something, say something,” Farr said.

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Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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