I had my “aha” moment last week when debating how to get rid of the new drug activity on my street. As you can probably tell, I am learning a lot of this as I go. I am not new to living near crime that is open, but, more recently as an adult, I have chosen to 1. live in a racially and economically diverse neighborhood and 2. to help improve the neighborhood by attempting to improve some of the blight issues. For those who question blight, let me clearly define these “blight” issues: dilapidated housing (usually owned by slumlords in my neighborhood), crimes against persons, property crime, and activity that leads to such crime (yes, a drug house usually meets this criteria).
If you are in a similar situation, I highly recommend reading the attached article. I have been frustrated, to a point, because I had been giving police information on the local drug houses with little effect. Since the original drug house on my street is no longer active, and I have been here for a few years, I decided it was time to be a bit more aggressive. I am no longer the “new guy” on my street, and I have managed to garner support since our street has become pretty safe and quiet. Apparently, most of the residents like it that way.
This is an easily-read article, and discusses a few different cases that used different methods to shut down these houses. None of these cases used police as the primary method for getting rid of this crime.