Crime Prevention Merit Badge Guide

Crime Prevention Merit Badge Guide

We all know the Crime Prevention Crime merit badge is an emblem that teaches you about crime and crime prevention.

In this article, you will also learn about the various types of crime, security safety, and the steps you and your family and neighbors can take to help prevent crime.

Ok, let’s get started the Crime Prevention merit badge material.

Crime Prevention Merit Badge Requirements

Crime Prevention Merit Badge Requirements

  1. Discuss the role and value of laws in society with regard to crime and crime prevention. Include in your discussion the definitions of “crime” and “crime prevention.”
  2. Prepare a journal from various sources that address crime and crime prevention efforts in your community.
  3. Discuss the following with your counselor:
    • The role of citizens, including youth, in crime prevention.
    • Gangs and their impact on the community.
    • When and how to report a crime.
  4. After doing EACH of the following, discuss with your counselor what you have learned.
    • Inspect your neighborhood for opportunities that may lead to crime. Learn how to do a crime prevention survey.
    • Using the checklist in this pamphlet, conduct a security survey of your home and discuss the results with your family.
  5. Teach your family or patrol members how to protect themselves from crime at home, at school, in your community, and while traveling.
  6. Help raise awareness about one school safety issue facing students by doing ONE of the following:
    • Create a poster for display on a school bulletin board.
    • With permission from school officials, create a page long public service announcement that could be read over the public address system at school or posted on the school’s website.
    • Make a presentation to a group such as a Cub Scout den that addresses the issue.
  7. Do ONE of the following:
    • Assist in the planning and organization of a crime prevention program in your community such as Neighborhood Watch, Community Watch, or Crime Stoppers. Explain how this program can benefit your neighborhood.
    • With your parent’s and counselor’s approval, visit a jail or detention facility or a criminal court hearing. Discuss your experience with your counselor.
  8. Discuss the following with your counselor:
    • How drug abuse awareness programs help prevent crime.
    • Why alcohol, tobacco or nicotine, and marijuana are sometimes called “gateway drugs” and how gateway drugs can lead to the use of other drugs.
    • The potential consequences of the misuse of prescription drugs.
    • How the illegal sale and use of drugs lead to other crimes.
    • Three resources in your city where a person with a drug problem or drug-related problem can go for help.
    • How to recognize child abuse.
    • The three R’s of Youth Protection.
  9. Discuss the following with your counselor:
    • The role of a sheriff’s or police department in crime prevention.
    • The purpose and operation of agencies in your community that help law enforcement personnel prevent crime, and how those agencies function during emergency situations.
    • Explain the role of private security plays in crime prevention.
    • Choose a career in the crime prevention or security industry that interests you. Describe the level of education required and the responsibilities of a person in that position. Tell why this position interests you.

What is “Crime” and “Crime Prevention”?

Crime is the violation of a law, a duty, or a moral principle. Those arrested by law enforcement officers for committing crimes face prosecution and punishment. Punishment can range from the payment of a fine to incarceration in jail.
Crime prevention is an attempt to reduce victimization and to deter crime and criminals. It is applied specifically to efforts made by governments to reduce crime, enforce the law, and maintain criminal justice.
Definition Crime and Crime Prevention

Role and Value of Laws

Role and Value of Laws

Every citizen is affected by crime. Millions of crimes are reported to law enforcement agencies every year and these acts affect you and your family either or indirectly.

City, State, and Federal Governments work to apprehend and bring legal action against those who break the law. Because of the amount of work, equipment, and personnel involved, these agencies spend millions of dollars.

Preventing crime is less costly to citizens, society, and helps save people from the anguish of being victims.

In addition to being possible victims of crime, your family and other citizens carry the financial burden of criminal acts.

Citizens must pay, usually through higher taxes, for additional law enforcement officers, increased court costs, more prisons, and jails.

Because retail stores must recoup their losses from theft and robbery, consumers also pay more for goods when owners raise prices to cover their losses.

Citizens also pay a price when companies and governments are victimized by less obvious criminal acts, such as theft by employees.

Some of these illegal activities involving national or worldwide companies can be far-reaching and create huge financial losses for consumers.

Identity theft is a growing problem, too. This is when criminals gain access to someone’s credit card number or some other kind of personal identification. Then the criminals use this information for illegal financial gains.

Crime Prevention Notebook

Crime Prevention with Police Line

A good way to become informed about crime in your neighborhood is to start a notebook. With save the clips, articles from newspapers, journals, and other sources relating to crime and crime prevention in your area or community.

Talk to neighbors and watch or listen to the news about crime and crime prevention. Write down useful information to add to your notebook.

One of the first steps in prevention is being aware of the types of crimes being committed in your community. Your notebook probably will have articles that mention many of these crimes.

The following types of crimes are common in the community.

Burglary. Breaking into and entering a building with the intent of committing a crime, often by stealing something.
Robbery. Taking someone else’s property unlawfully, by force or fear.
Larceny. Unlawfully removing the personal goods of another person with the intent to cheat the owner. Also known as theft.
Crimes against people. These crimes include murder, robbery, assault, and rape.
Crimes against property. These crimes include burglary, larceny, motor-vehicle theft, arson, and vandalism.
White-collar crime. This term, coined more than 60 years ago, now includes a variety of nonviolent crimes committed for the financial benefit of the one or more persons. This could include embezzlement as well as fraud, computer hacking, and theft of office supplies and equipment.
Littering. Many people litter without thinking. How many times have you seen people throw out paper, cups, cans, and cigarette butts from their car windows? They are showing disrespect for neighborhoods and other people.

Litter can be harmful to plants and animals, depending on how the trash decomposes. Also, fragments from plastic and glass can harm animals and people if they step on them.
Graffiti. Many of us associate graffiti-covered buildings and bridges with high-crime neighborhoods and uncaring residents. We may not consider it important in our own community.

But in addition to possibly igniting gang violence, graffiti makes neighborhood property less valuable and makes people feel unsafe. It also can make a negative impression on the visitor. You can report any graffiti to our law enforcement agency.
Shoplifting. This crime deprives the store owner of both the merchandise and the profit from selling it. Thus, many store owners might have ti raise the prices on other goods to offset the stolen merchandise.
Types of Crimes

The Role of Citizens

Citizens are responsible for the quality of life in their communities. Law Enforcement Officers help keep the community safe and they often rely on cooperation from citizens in their crime prevention efforts.

Police are trained to enforce the law and to give citizens information to help prevent crime. It is up to citizens to protect their personal property, help neighbors guard their property, and report to the police any crime or suspicious activities.

Citizens also have a duty to work with the justice system to help identify, capture, and prosecute (bring legal action against) lawbreakers.

A Scout obeys the laws of his community and country. Because laws are designed to protect you and all citizens. It is important for you to learn about laws, to obey them and to recognize the need to work for their improvement.

Gangs and Crime

gangs and crime

Among the growing crime concerns in many neighborhoods are gangs, gang violence, the use, and trafficking of drugs. Gangs frequently include teenagers.

To support their interests, gangs often commit violent offenses, cause serious injuries, and use lethal weapons.

Gangs can make neighborhoods unsafe and increase security costs for businesses in those areas. Other costs to citizens could be the devaluation of their property because of living in an undesirable neighborhood.

The National Youth Gang Center estimates that there are more than 850.000 members in more than 30.000 gangs in the United States.

Characteristics of a gang may include:

  • Links to a neighborhood or territory or ethnicity.
  • Identifiable leadership.
  • Members who regularly interact with one another.
  • Formal organization.
  • Harmful or violent behavior.

Gang violence not limited to gang members. Innocent bystanders often are victims of gang violence. Here are some suggestion for how you can protect your self from violent crime:

  • Do not use alcohol or other drugs. Stick with friends who are not violent and who do not use alcohol or drugs. Avoid known trouble spots and difficult situations.
  • Settle arguments with words, not first or weapons. Do not stand and watch while others are arguing because violence often spreads to bystanders.
  • Learn safe routes and a good place to find help in your neighborhood. If you sense danger, get away fast. Report any crimes, suspicious actions, or suspicious people to law enforcement officers, school authorities, or your parents.
  • Whenever you leave home, tell your parents, relative, or other responsible adults where you are going, with whom, and when you expect to be home.
  • Help teach younger children how to avoid being victims of crime, set a good example.
  • Follow the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your daily life.

One of the best solutions to the gang problem is for youngsters to become members in worthwhile youth groups, such as the Boy Scouts of America and learn about crime prevention merit badge, that provide opportunity, fun, and peer approval.

Reporting Crimes

citizen reporting a crime

Besides recognizing the types of crime in your neighborhood it is important to know how to report a crime should you witness or know about one. It is essential to law enforcement to your community that all crimes be reported accurately and promptly.

Prompt reports are vital in solving crimes. If a crime is committed against you or any member of your family, or if you see a crime, be sure to report it immediately.

The information you have might give law enforcement officers the last piece in the puzzle of catching a criminal, establishing a pattern, method, or preventing future crimes.

However, your silence might allow a criminal to go in committing crimes against others. This approach could worsen the problem because that same criminal could be injuring others or damaging the overall quality of life in your community.

Because it is you should have an emergency and other helpful numbers posted on a convenient phone in your house. Then how to report a crime?

If you call the police department to report a crime, you will talk to a dispatcher. Then explain to the dispatcher why you are calling, using a clear and calm voice. If it’s decided that an officer should be sent to your location, and try to remain calm while you wait for help.

Do not hang up the phone until police have arrived or you have been instructed to do so by the dispatcher, wait for the police.

For crimes in progress or if your life is in danger, immediately call 9-1-1 rather than the police number. Be prepared, “know where you are”.

Inspecting Your Neighborhood

inspecting neighborhood

Opportunities for crime can and must be eliminated or reduced. Look around your neighborhood to see what can be done to help prevent crime.

Take a notebook and conduct a crime survey of your neighborhood by creating a checklist of possible problem. Go with a parent or counselor when conducting the survey.

A crime prevention survey could include question like the following to ask your trusted neighbors with your parent:

  • Has the neighborhood become a better or worse place to live in the past year?
  • Do you think this area will be better, worse or the same in a year from now?
  • Do you think crime in my neighborhood is more of a problem than in nearby areas?

Among things to look for abandoned buildings with broken windows, burned-out or broken street lights, overgrown bushes, and unusual activities at certain residences or abandoned buildings.

These residences or buildings could be used by criminals to hide or sell drugs or stolen goods. Unusual activities could be different cars or people visiting a house or building at odd hours and for brief periods of time.

This could indicate that drugs or stolen merchandise are being sold.

Home Security Awareness

Most burglaries are committed by beginners and the typical burglar is male teenager who lives either in or near the neighborhood. Burglaries most often occur between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. because those are the hours when families usually are away from home.

Check your house to see how easy or difficult it would be to break in. Especially check the windows, garage doors, front, and back doors. A burglar wants to break in quickly to avoid being seen.

The more difficult it is to pry open a door or window, the better chance the burglar will leave and seek an easier target. Avoid keeping all the family’s valuable in the master bedroom because that usually is the first place a burglar will search.

Check to see if there are places outside the home where burglars could hide when trying to break into your home. Bushes, trees, or anything else that could provide a shield for a burglar should be removed or trimmed.

Don’t forget to use the home security checklist to complete the requirements of the crime prevention merit badge on the pamphlet that I shared earlier.

Neighborhood Watch

neighborhood watch program in residents

Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, and Town Watch are programs designed to prevent crime. They help neighborhoods enhance home, personal security, reduce fear, and isolation.

Civic involvement has helped cities and neighborhoods to significantly reduce crime. In early 1972, the National Sheriffs’ Association created a model program for today’s Neighborhood Watch.

The program, among other things, forges strong bounds among residents. To start a Neighborhood Watch program in your area, you first will need to help your parents conduct a survey of residents and business owners.

Ask them about their concerns, such as worries about burglaries or other crimes, and their willingness to work for their neighborhood.

  • Have they done anything to protect their homes or businesses?
  • Would they be willing to attend a meeting to organize a Neighborhood Watch group?

Create a list of the people you survey and those who are interested in joining a neighborhood or block watch. Include their addresses and telephone numbers. Establish a planning cimmittee of people who are interested.

Next, contact your local law enforcement agency. Request that a crime prevention officer attend a meeting of neighbors to discuss community needs, the level of interest, and local problems. Schedule a date, time, and place for a Neighborhood Watch kickoff meeting.

Benefits of Neighborhood Watch:

  • Reduces and deters criminal activity.
  • It creates a greater sense of security among residents and reduces fear of crime.
  • Serves as an outlet for victims of crime.
  • Builds bonds with neighbors because residents look out for one another.
  • Reduce the risk of becoming a crime victim.
  • Instructs residents on how to observe and report suspicious activities.
  • Addresses quality-of-life issues and mutual interests in neighborhoods.

Maybe that’s all for discussion about crime prevention merit badge material, to complete the other requirements you can check the information in the pamphlet that I shared earlier.

Hans Curt
I might be a Mechanical Engineer on the paper, but I was an Eagle Scout enthusiast since childhood.