A clean, well-kept neighbourhood is a positive indicator, but appearances can be deceiving. Be able to recognize warning signs in the area.
How Does The Neighbourhood Look?
- Graffiti. Gangs use graffiti to claim their territory, challenge other gangs, and intimidate a neighbourhood. Taken alone, graffiti may not be significant, but when coupled with other indicators of criminal activity, it could be a warning sign.
- Unusual traffic. In a working or middle-class neighbourhood, regular visits by people in BMWs, Jaguars, Rolls-Royces, and Cadillacs are highly suspect. Heavy biker-type traffic may also be a signal of criminal activity in the area.
- Fortifications. Homes and apartments with blacked-out windows or other unusual and extraordinary fortifications, such as electrified fences or walls topped with razor wire, are suspicious.
- Suspicious people. Bandanas prominently displayed, extreme hairstyles, tattoos, and the use of hand signals may suggest gang involvement. Also, if you see people exchanging small packets for cash, there is a problem.
- Miscellaneous signs. Other signs include heavy condensation on the inside of windows, large packages being moved between vehicles and home, trucks and vans with out-of-province plates, "lookouts", ammonia or other chemical smells, heavy machinery or exhaust fan noises, or expensive vehicles owned by people otherwise.