Take control of your home turf using natural crime prevention methods. Capable homeowners can even do it themselves by using the principles of CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design). If you talked to a home robbery, ring leader, you’d find out a lot about what make them tick. For example, what they don’t like when breaking into a home. Use this insider information and apply the basics to your home to help it stay safe.
Making Crooks Pay
There is enough mumbo-jumbo on the Internet these days on crime prevention, to keep you busy for many lifetimes. If you don’t like paying for third-rate knowledge, then let the experts do the heavy lifting, and deliver information you can act on.
These systems have been, and are being, used as methods of modern crime prevention by urban planners, community developers, architects, and now homeowners. The aim is to create comfort, protection and security for residents and communities while using the criminal’s built-in fears, to make his job as difficult and uncomfortable as possible.
When the experts interviewed the crooks, they came up with the four following facts worth looking into, even if it’s only a glance. It’s worth the trouble. Who knows, you may become the next expert, without needing a criminal background first.
Natural crime prevention methods use surveillance because criminals fear being watched. After all, they’re not in the acting business and so you play on this, as your number one application. For this reason, you have the following methods to apply to your own surveillance.
- Use the most open or shortest fencing.
- Take advantage of passing traffic and pedestrians to be your extra eyes.
- Keep windows covered so people can’t see in.
- Your parking area, driveway and walkways should be visible from your windows.
- Use landscaping favourable to surveillance, especially where you come and go.
- Places to hide like trees, hedges and closed fences should be removed.
- Lighting plays a big part. Both natural and electric lighting must be applied where needed.
- Tricky spots like mailbox, entrance, play areas and garden shed should all be well lit.
To define between public and private areas, you need to restrict the potential criminal’s access by using natural access control. You apply the correct positioning of fencing, entranceways, lighting and use landscaping to create limited entry or simply control the flow of people by using natural access control methods.
- Only have one well-defined primary entrance from the public area.
- Now with landscaping or buildings, channel your visitors directly to your door.
- Keep the gate between front and back yard locked at all times.
- See that your pathway does not lead past easy access to upper floors or roof areas.
- Make the use of thorny shrubs and creepers to protect below your windows and on fences.
- Encourage neighbourly relations and keep open style fencing on side boundaries.
Here is where you define your private spaces, producing an environment that creates a sense of ownership. Having a vested interest in one’s property as the owner, gives a clear message to any intruder, they are likely to be challenged. By using the two methods (surveillance and access control) above, you are making strangers or prowlers stand out and thereby recognizable. Maintaining your premises and landscaping well, conveys a message that your home has dynamic occupants present.
- Avoid using measures like razor wire. This is simply sending a message to the criminals that there is little to no physical presence on the property.
- Keep your private activities to a predefined area.
- Plant trees. Did we say plant trees? Yes, of course, this is your home not a parched-earth program. Research has shown outdoor residential spaces with more trees are significantly more attractive, safer, and generally more used than similar areas with no trees and that’s what you want.
- Your private area is where you plant your trees, preferably judiciously. To aid your security, keep trees trimmed up to seven feet and shrubs no higher than three foot.
- If you don’t have an alarm system, put one in that you can add to if needed later. It is important to put up alarm signage at public entry points.
- The aim of your program is for criminals to see, you can observe them at all times.
A well-maintained territory is the essence of natural crime prevention and enforces your security even more. In a well-kept community area, the message is given that we care about what happens here.” In this way, crime and vandalism are brought under control.
Have you heard of the “broken window theory?” In law enforcement agencies, this is called the BWT, which postulates that one visible broken window will tempt vandals to break all the windows and so on. This scenario usually leads to more criminal activity and crime then moves in, from one broken window.
For pride and safety of ownership, a community should be well maintained with a good sense of neighborliness. This kind of spirit makes guests to your area feel more comfortable and makes the criminals very uncomfortable. So you are well on your way to creating your own natural crime prevention methods.
This is important because, as any crook will tell you, “We don’t want difficult.” ‘The more difficult it is to operate within a closely-knit community, the more they want to leave.’