While it's important to put in place a home security and safety plan for your house and your property, it's really worth considering your neighborhood as well. Do you have a neighborhood watch in place and are the majority of homes and yards upkept well?
Various studies have shown that a well-maintained neighborhood and volunteer watch can actually go a lot further toward preventing crime than all the surveillance cameras and pit bulls you can adorn your property with. And the need for community-involved crime prevention becomes even more important in a down economy when crime tends to go up.
As someone in the CNN article (link below) says, "Nowadays, you have so many people just walking around pretending, leaving fliers, doing marketing surveys or some such baloney. But what they really are doing is looking for opportunities, watching to see who is or isn't in their homes."
Burglars like to do their work when no one is around, so if there's usually someone paying attention to things in your neighborhood (and reporting suspicious activity) the word will get out that this isn't the easiest area to hit.
For more on starting a neighborhood watch or the effectiveness of them, check out the articles below: