11 Facts to Crime Prevention

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Crime Prevention :The concept is simple: Buildings and properties are designed to prevent damage from the force of the elements and natural disasters; they should also be designed to prevent crime.

The ten elements of Crime Prevention  are:

Natural Surveillance,

Territorial Reinforcement,

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Natural Access Control and Maintenance.

 My series of this articles delve into each one of these elements in some detail.

This checklist can be printed and used in conjunction with those articles to implement CPSC at your facility.

Although every item on this list may not apply to your particular space.

You can adopt these principles to improve anything from a home office to a high-rise building.

Crime Prevention:

Crime Prevention

1.Crime Prevention: Natural Surveillance

Criminals thrive on anonymity. They do not like to be seen or recognized.

So they will normally choose situations where they can hide and easily escape.

Natural surveillance, then, is simply arranging your property for maximum visibility.

Natural Surveillance Checklist:

  • Windows signs should cover no more than 10% of the window surface
  • Interior of the space should be visible from the sidewalk or street
  • Interior furniture and displays should be no higher than 5′ to maintain visibility
  • Exterior parking lots should be well lit so that people can be recognized from 25′ away
  • Exterior parking lots should be visible from inside the space.
  • Street and/or sidewalk should be visible from inside the space.
  • All entrances should be visible from within the space.
  • Nonworking surveillance cameras should be repaired or removed.
  • Interior lighting should remain on at night.
  • Bushes should be no higher than 36″
  • Trees should be no higher than 7′

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2. Crime Prevention: Territorial Reinforcement

The purpose of Territorial Reinforcement is to create a clear distinction between public and private property.

This is important for two reasons.

Legitimate occupants have a sense of ownership and will notice people who don’t belong; intruders, on the other hand, will have a hard time blending in.

Territorial Reinforcement Checklist:

  • Property lines should be well marked by fences, shrubbery, short walls or similar means
  • Receptionist/cash register/or greeter should be positioned to screen all people entering the space

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3. Crime Prevention: Natural Access Control

Criminals like to feel that they are in control as they enter and exit an area.

When they are in control, they have a low perception of risk, since they believe they are able to move about unnoticed.

However, this sense of control can be denied by limiting and clearly marking the approaches to buildings and properties, thereby channeling visitors into a defined area.

Natural Access Control is the use of building and landscaping features to guide people as they enter and exit a space.

Crime Prevention:

Natural Access Control Checklist:

Looking at measures that will control access to a location, a person or object.

  • Locking your doors and windows to both your house and your vehicle
  • Ensuring that fencing, hedges, walls, and other boundary treatments are in a good state of repair
  • Putting a security system in place at a commercial site (entry barriers, security guards, ID cards)

    Crime Prevention:

  • Walkways, landscaping, and driveways should lead visitors to a controlled entrance
  • Access to the roof should be secure.
  • Exterior door hinges should not be accessible from outside.
  • Exterior doors should be locked with deadbolts.
  • Deadbolts should have a minimum 1″ throw and the strike plates should be anchored to the door frame.
  • All keys should be accounted for.
  • If keys cannot be accounted for, locks should be re-keyed and a key control policy instituted.
  • Windows should be locked.
  • Access to ladders should be secured

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Crime PreventionCrime Prevention

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4. Crime Prevention: Maintenance

Surprising as it may seem, many experts believe that a well-maintained property can deter crime.

Why? Because a poorly maintained building demonstrates that its owner is no longer able or willing to control his property.

It thus becomes an invitation to any criminal who wants to seize control.

Crime Prevention:

Maintenance Checklist:

  • Graffiti should be removed or painted over
  • Weeds should be removed
  • Debris should be removed from the grounds
  • All lighted signs should be in working order
  • All light fixtures should be in working order

5. Crime Prevention: Increase the Chances of Being Caught

Increasing the likelihood that an offender will be caught to prevent crime occurring.

  • Making use of dusk to dawn security lighting is in place and in working order
  • Using good quality CCTV and/or alarm systems, especially on commercial sites and public places
  • Upgrading security to delay an offender, meaning they have to spend more time to gain access

6. Crime Prevention: Deflecting Offenders

Deterring an offender or deflecting their intention.

  • Using timer switches to make our homes look occupied if vacant after the hours of darkness
  • Running youth diversionary schemes with partner agencies
  • Referring offenders to drug rehabilitation programmers.

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7. Crime Prevention: Environmental Change

Ensuring your property and wider community looks cared for.

  • Ensuring that graffiti and domestic/commercial waste is cleared up
  • Reporting issues with fly-tipping or broken street lights to the relevant authority
  • Working with the police and local authority to close a footpath

8.Crime Prevention: Reducing the Payoff

Reducing the profit the criminal can make from the offence.

  • Security marking your property
  • Marking your property in such a way that others will not want to buy from the thief
  • Not buying property you believe or suspect to be stolen

 9. Crime Prevention: Target Removal

Ensuring that a potential target is out of view.

  • Not leaving items on view through your windows – i.e. laptops, phones, keys, bags
  • Putting your vehicle in the garage if you have one and not leaving valuables on display
  • Being cautious about what you post online as it may be used to identify or locate you offline

10. Crime Prevention: Target Hardening

Making your property harder for an offender to access.

  • Upgrading the locks on your doors, windows, sheds and outbuildings
  • Fitting sash jammers to vulnerable doors and windows
  • Using secure passwords to prevent criminals hacking your online accounts

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11. Crime Prevention: Rule Setting

Changing our habits by setting rules and positioning signage in appropriate locations.

  • Introducing a rule that the last person entering / leaving should lock the door and remove the keys
  • Informing visitors to commercial sites that they must report to reception on arrival
  • Informing users that a particular site is closed between certain times and should not be accessed.

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