I can't understand the relationship between 'raising money' and 'block safe'. Isn't it the duty of police?

here the picture of context

  • 1
    In this context, a block is a usually rectangular space (as in a city) enclosed by streets and occupied by or intended for buildings. These people live in some particular block, which understandably they would like to be "safe". Organising "street parties" like this increases the chances that the people in the block will get to know each other better, making them less likely to engage in antisocial behaviour (people don't usually mug their neighbours if they know them). Oct 2, 2017 at 13:15
  • ...of course, it's possible they already all know each other - and/or don't have any residents who commit crime in the local area. Maybe they're actually just raising money to pay for barricades to keep out criminal elements from other communities nearby. Oct 2, 2017 at 13:19
  • @FumbleFingers I've always heard "block" used to mean a length of a street. If someone who lives on, whatever, Foobar Street, says "the people on my block", he means people who live on Foobar Street. If Foobar Street is long, he generally means a section of Foobar Street bounded by main roads or some other natural boundaries. i.e. it refers to a line, not a rectangle. Maybe the usage is different in big cities or other regions.
    – Jay
    Oct 2, 2017 at 16:05
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    @Jay: Well, you're the American here, and it sees to me the sense of entire rectangular group of buildings (bounded by a "street" and an "avenue" in NY, for example) is primarily an AmE usage. Here in the UK it's usually a single building (a tower block, an office block, etc.). So if a Brit said She lives in the same block as me I'd assume they both live in the same building. But if a New Yorker said it, I might suppose he's referring to that larger "address space" (she might live on any of the three other roads that together with mine enclose an identifiable group of buildings). Oct 2, 2017 at 16:32
  • In AmE, block is a row of houses on a street and situated between two streets that intersect that street more-or-less perpendicularly.
    – TimR
    Oct 2, 2017 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


A lot of small communities, I can only speak specifically to the United States, adhere in part to the concept of Civil Society. This places a portion of social responsibility on family or other social groups, distinct from government and business. These groups can be as small as a single neighborhood or, as in the example, a city block.

"Raising money to keep their block safe"

The phrase refers to the self-organization of this neighborhood to take on as much responsibility for their own safety as they can, in addition to the police and other means available to them. They could be raising money for any number of things they believe will help increase the safety of their own neighborhood.

Some examples might be: street lights, door locks, security cameras or private security. Also, the simple act of organizing and socializing can have the effect of creating social bonds that strengthen and secure the neighborhood.

  • I'm curious about street lights. In my experience, they were always bought directly by the municipality from taxes levied.
    – K.A.Monica
    Oct 2, 2017 at 22:28
  • Not always. Builders will install and pay for street lighting when creating new subdivisions. Some neighborhoods have common property owned by all households through HOA's, and can work with municipalities to install and pay for lighting there. My HOA has been working with law enforcement to install video camera's on power poles on our street. Something we will pay for and install privately. Not something I agree with, but an example of private citizens doing work to secure themselves. I see it as a cooperative effort. Of course, the city has to see it that way too.
    – am21
    Oct 3, 2017 at 12:47

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