Increased burglaries in Franklin concern police

Published 10:10 am Saturday, March 26, 2011

Crime is a problem in every community regardless of its size or demographics, and it is a problem to which the City of Franklin is not immune.

In fact, Franklin has seen a significant increase this year in certain non-violent crimes, specifically home break-ins and burglaries. According to the Franklin Police Department, this type of criminal activity tends to peak during the last three months of the year and begins to decline in January.

This year has seen no such slowdown. Franklin Police report there have been 37 such occurrences of this type of crime in the city since the beginning of 2011.

A number of factors may be contributing to it, including higher unemployment and a generally poor national economy. Whatever the cause, the trend is disturbing and needs to be reversed.

Many believe it is the police department’s responsibility to be the first line of defense in crime prevention. I disagree. It is not the police department’s job to be my first line of defense against crime any more than it is a teacher’s job to raise my children.

But much like effectively educating a child requires a partnership between parent and teacher, effective crime prevention efforts require citizens to partner with the police and together form a unified coalition against crime.

To facilitate that partnership, Franklin Police provide a wonderful resource, which is available to residents and businesses at no cost. An officer on the force, who specializes, will visit your home or business and do a complete security survey of the premises, both inside and out.

The specialist will provide a written report with recommendations on ways to upgrade your security and simple ways to make your home or business less attractive for criminals. It’s a very valuable service and they do an outstanding job.

But don’t wait for a written report to do the obvious, little things that make a criminal’s job more difficult. Lock car doors and roll up windows. Don’t leave valuables on the seats in plain view.

Have a security system installed in your home. Lock your doors when you leave the house. Keep your business properly lit and secured. Most thieves hope to avoid confrontation and are looking for targets that offer little resistance. Don’t let your home or business be one of them.

So while crime may be on the rise, it doesn’t mean you have to be a victim. Franklin’s police department is there to help, but it’s up to you to take the first step.

TONY CLARK is the general manager and advertising director at The Tidewater News. He can be reached at