Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Who Are Your Neighbors, Anyway?

All of us have them-neighbors-that is. We borrow their lawn mowers, have our kids play together, and probably have them keep an eye on our houses when we are out of town; but do you really know your neighbors? While most of give our neighbors a trust and solidarity just out of proximity to them, few of us are really aware of who they are and what their background is. This could be dangerous for you and your family. How? Let's take a closer look, at why you need a background check on even the most seemingly harmless neighbors.

First, while you would probably hate to think that Sally from the neighborhood watch or Tim from your football bbqs is a criminal-or was-it's important to realize that everyone has to live somewhere-and this includes criminals. So, while they may seem to carry on just as normal as you and your family; this doesn't mean that they don't have dark pasts of criminal activity of varying designs.

Second, criminals come in two kinds: ones that have been caught and penalized and those who have been able to elude law enforcement and punishment-thus far. Both types could be living next door to you, and most often-recognizing them can be more complicated than you would think. Those released from prison or acquitted from a court case could-and probably do-have the same criminal intentions that made them commit whatever crime they committed in the first place. So, this said, they will probably do it again-and you could be their victim.

Third, criminals and people with treacherous pasts come in a wide variety of kinds. So, while you may have seen on tv that you should be wary of all men that live alone, and spend a lot of their time indoors-know that criminal history is not limited to this stereotype. In fact, many criminals know the stereotype, and in order to fly in under your radar; create lifestyles that look like your normal neighbors and friends.

Fourth, though you may wave hello on your way out in the morning, trade tools, or let your kids play at their houses; how much of their current and past information do you really know? For all you know that perfect family down the block, could be hiding a past of criminal activity-with or without the full knowledge and participation of all family members. So, Todd two houses down, could be a sex offender that wasn't charged or Jill from the next street over could have an alias. Most of us automatically offer our trust to people living in our neighborhoods for the simple fact that we know where they live; but that doesn't mean that they aren't potential or past criminals.

Lastly, while you may want to give unconditional trust to your neighbors-offer them personal information about your home, kids, and schedules; it is with the people closest to you, that you are taking this chance on. So, while hoping for a neighborhood of upright citizens and friends is nice; it is not realistic, and it is downright careless with that of your family and friends.

All these factors in mind, you probably think that running a background check takes too much time, money, or that your neighbors will find out. It doesn't. It used to be that background checks on individuals were expensive, took a few days, and a lot of energy-as they were used exclusively by law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. Today, there are services that merely require a full name and a couple seconds of your time, literally, to conduct a search for criminal background information on the neighbor of your choice. Our access service at offers one stop resource for running background checks on your neighbors, that is fully comprehensive to all sorts of information that would be important that you know about them. Inform yourself: you have no excuse not to: not money, energy, or time.






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An American Democrat