When I was growing up, our block had Mrs. Hunter. She was the nosy neighbor who never hesitated to rat out the mischevious behavior of kids, and as a kid, I came to dislike her for that reason (she had a habit of telling my mother the second my brother and I were hanging out our windows... I can't remember why we would do this, but I'm sure we had perfectly innocent reasons ).
It wasn't until I became an adult that I learned how nice having someone like that watching out for our community was. Sure she tattled on kids, but she did more than just that. She knew who belonged in our neighborhood and who didn't, and she never hesitated to call the cops (her husband included) to report suspicious people or cars.
That behavior may be dubbed by some as being "nosy," but in reality it is the type of behavior that keeps neighborhoods safe. Getting to know our neighbors and watching out for them seems to have become a thing of generations past, but it really is a wise idea.
I think we should all take a page from Mrs. Hunter's book and become a little more nosy. It is not about intruding on the privacy of others, but about watching out for one another.
I've done countless stories on crime prevention and every type I talk to an expert on the subject, they talk about the necessity of community involvement. They talk about being aware of your surroundings and getting to know what is normal and what is not. They continually say they need the community's help when it comes to solving and preventing crimes.
That is what Mrs. Hunter was doing... she knew we could slip and get seriously injured falling out of a second story window, so she called our mother. She felt like the man in all black clothing walking up to houses when it was obvious the homeowner was gone was up to no good, so she called the cops to investigate.
Nearly every officer will tell you it is better to be safe than sorry and call when you see something suspicious or someone who just doesn't seem right. Rocky Mount police have a non-emergency number (972-1411) and operate Crime Stoppers (977-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for this very reason. So don't feel guilty about being nosy and call!