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Neighborhood Involvement

Building inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.

ONI Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Summer Crime Trends

Protect Your Property from Theft this Summer

Bicycle Locked to Bike Rack

“Security isn’t always convenient. This is especially true when it comes to summer crime prevention and the opportunistic theft that we see each year,” says Meg Juarez, Crime Prevention Coordinator. With awareness and preparation, residents can curb the trends that are prevalent during the warmer months including increases in bicycle thefts and theft from yards. It will require them to lock up and put things away, but their actions are an effective crime prevention strategy during this time of year.

Although crimes of opportunity consistently occur throughout the year, we do see trends emerge during summer months. A crime-of-opportunity theft happens when an offender passes by a property, sees something that can be stolen with little risk of being observed or arrested and takes advantage of that opportunity. Each summer, we hear about tools, bicycles, strollers, art, outdoor furniture, alcohol and other items being stolen from front or side yards, porches, accessible balconies and open garages.Incidents typically occur when property is left unattended while a resident gardens in the backyard or takes a break inside of the home.

Summer is also a time of year when doors, windows and gates are left unsecured and become easy access for burglars. Some examples of what we hear about:

  • Windows are left open for ventilation and unsecured while the resident is out and a burglar enters the residence. This is especially problematic when the open window is accessible and visible from the street.
  • Doors to homes are left unlocked, including ones in attached garages, and something is quickly stolen from the house such as a purse.
  • Tools and climbing devices, such as ladders, are left out in the yard and used to access vulnerable doors and windows to homes. For example, a thief may gain entry through a second floor window that is not secured.
  • Window air conditioning units on first-floor-accessible windows are not properly secured and can be pushed from the window.

The best ways to prevent crimes of opportunity and secure entry points during the hot summer months:

  • Lock garages, windows and doors when you are out or aren’t able to observe these areas.
  • If you want to leave windows open for ventilation, use a track lock, slide bolt or other secondary locking mechanism to control access.
  • Secure climbing devices and tools so they can’t be used to access your home.
  • Install locks on the gates to your backyard.
  • Take valuables from publicly accessible spaces into your home when you can’t monitor them.
  • Look out for your neighbors and report suspicious activity to the police.

When it’s warm outside, bicycle theft ramps up as more people ride to work and other activities. A 2015 survey of over 500 bicycles parked in Portland conducted by Project 529, a bike registration and recovery service, revealed that owners were not locking their bicycles properly and many were using worn down U-Locks. Best practices include:

  • Locking a sturdy U-Lock to the bike frame, a wheel and the bike rack. Many cable locks are easily cut and should not be used as primary security.
  • Securing your bicycle to a strong and immovable rack that is located in a well-lit and well-traveled area. Make sure that your bike can’t be lifted from the rack.
  • Bringing all removable parts including the seat with you or locking them up.
  • If you are storing your bicycle in a gated parking garage, lock it to a bike rack.
  • Taking a picture of your bike and keeping its serial number on file. A lot of bicycles are recovered, but can’t be linked to the owner because the serial number is not reported to the police. Consequently, the suspect may not be charged with a crime. You can register your bike online at and

If you are a victim of theft, please report it to the police by contacting 503-823-3333. Many thefts can be reported online at

Crime prevention isn’t always convenient, but it’s worth the extra effort. When you are aware of the trends that occur throughout the year, you can employ the most effective strategies to reduce risk.

This article was first published in El Hispanic News

National Night Out: Building Community

Host or attend a National Night Out party to strengthen neighbor relationships in the spirit of creating safer neighborhoods.

National Nigth Out Party in a ParkNational Night Out Party Community EventNational Night Out Block PartyNational Night Out Apartment

A National Night Out party host advises us, “Get to know your neighbors. Community doesn't just happen, it takes everyone to make it.” The first National Night Out (NNO) event, organized decades ago, had a simple premise. Neighbors would sit on their porches and turn on their porch lights because crime was less likely to happen on a street where neighbors were out, connected and observant. NNO has become an annual event celebrated across the country on the first Tuesday in August. On this day, neighbors host and attend small block parties or neighborhood events to strengthen their relationships with one another in the spirit of creating safer neighborhoods.

Neighborhood cohesion helps deter crime. “Criminals want to be anonymous, to go unnoticed,” says Stephanie Reynolds, Crime Prevention Program Manager. “When neighbors know and look out for one another, pay attention to what is happening on their street and report crime, it goes a long way towards creating a safe neighborhood.” Connected neighbors are also more likely to be invested in what happens in their neighborhood and work together to solve problems and make the neighborhood a better place. That connection also lays the foundation for cooperation that is vital in the event of a major disaster where emergency services may be unavailable for days and weeks. We encourage you and your neighbors to host a National Night Out party in your neighborhood to get acquainted with neighbors and reinforce existing relationships. A party can be as simple as inviting neighbors to bring over a chair and a potluck dish and sit in the front yard. It may be a more elaborate one with a street closure, organized activities or an event in a park.To find out information about hosting a party, please see our website at

To make your Portland party official, you will need to register with the City at The benefits of registration include the ability to request police or fire fighters to attend your event, noise variances, party ideas and more. Although it is beneficial for safety officials to meet neighbors at this event, there are no guarantees that police and fire will be able to attend all registered parties despite their best efforts to do so.

National Night Out Details:

NNO Date: Tuesday, August 2nd 


Registration Dates: June 7th-July 19th.

Find a party in your neighborhood: Toward the end of July, find an event near you at

When neighbors take responsibility to build and maintain livable and cohesive neighborhoods, those neighborhoods are less vulnerable to crime and neighbors feel more assured. A NNO party is a great way to foster those relationships and create a safer neighborhood. 

Community Garden Safety Talk

CP Coordinator Yolanda S talks to members of an East Portland Community Garden

East Portland Community Garden Safety Talk

Thirty-five people turned out for a safety talk at an East Portland community garden this last week. Members called us with their concerns after a series of thefts and vandalism. Crime Prevention Coordinator Yolanda S led a training addressing their concerns about safety, car prowls and talked about crime prevention strategies. She also encouraged members to connect with neighbors and other regular users of the park and organize member gatherings to get to know members who work in the garden. We hope members will follow up on her suggestion to host a vegetable exchange party. 

Friends of RiverPlace Prepare for Earth Day

Friends of RiverPlace show pride in their neighborhood by participating in Earth Day

Friends of RiverPlace Leadership Meeting

On April 19th, 2016 the Friends of RiverPlace Community Foot Patrol leadership met at the Little River Cafe along the beautiful, pedestrian- and bicycle friendly RiverPlace main street, overlooking the Willamette. They planned for their Earth Day SOLVE cleanup on Saturday, April 23rd.  Says leader Susan West, “Jacob Brostoff and interns from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Crime Prevention Program helped with our discussion about the importance of and procedure for reporting. We have amazing support from the Portland Parks and Recreation Bureau, the Little River Cafe, SOLVE and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement. Thank you Jacob, Mark Wells, Don McTaggert, Quinton Bauer, Roberta Sommer and Thierry Pasquiou. Our trash talkers will hit the area Saturday 9-11 with gloves, reachers , trash bags and smiles. Come and join us!”

What: Earth Day SOLVE Trash Clean Up

Where: Meet at Little River Cafe

When: Saturday, April 23rd 9am-11am

An East Portland Neighborhood Watch Makes it Official

A Hazelwood Neighborhood Watch Hang a Sign Funded by EPCAC Chair

Neighborhood Watch Sign Hanging EventNeighborhood Watch Sign Hanging Event 2

On Monday, members of a newly-formed Neighborhood Watch in the Hazelwood neighborhood met with local media to hang their first Watch sign. In late February, neighbors from twelve households gathered at Block Organizers Sally and Evan Bowman’s residence for a Neighborhood Watch meeting and training led by Mark Wells, who organizes the Neighborhood Watch and Foot Patrol programs for the City of Portland’s Crime Prevention Program.

Their block has been adversely impacted by ongoing criminal activity at two vacant houses on their street, resulting in numerous calls to the police.  Many of these Watch residents have lived on this block for decades and were beginning to feel unsafe walking around their blocks and Lincoln Park, especially at night. 

Robin Spencer, chair of the East Portland Community Against Crime (EPCAC), and her husband personally donated the funds for two new signs for this group. One of EPCAC’s many goals is to help establish new Neighborhood Watch groups throughout East Portland. Because of their partnership, this block has two new signs to show that they are trained, organized, and highly motivated to keep their block and surrounding neighborhood safe.

David Ashton from the East Portland News attended the first Watch sign hanging event and it was fun to hear his interviews with the reinvigorated neighbors about their positive experience joining and participating in the Neighborhood Watch program.

For information or questions on how to start or re-start a Neighborhood Watch on your block please contact:

Mark Wells

City of Portland Crime Prevention


East Portland Community Against Crime is a recently-formed sub-committee of the East Portland Action Plan,