Crime Prevention is the anticipation, recognition and appraisal of a crime risk and the actions or actions taken to remove or reduce it. For a crime to be committed, the criminal must have the Desire, Ability and Opportunity to succeed.
Social scientists had tried unsuccessfully to remove the desire for a criminal to commit a crime and reducing their ability is not practical or cost effective. But Opportunity Reduction is PREDICTABLE & ACHIEVABLE.
Remember the “Four D’s” of Opportunity Reduction Deny, Deter, Delay and Detect
- Deny privacy to the intruder. Keep shrubs trimmed below the window line.
- Deter the intruder. Your home should ALWAYS look like there is someone at home. CFL bulbs are a very efficient way to illuminate the exterior and interior of the home. Motion sensor lights are an excellent deterrent as well. Put interior lamps on timers. Keep a radio tuned to an all talk station and leave it on with the volume lowered while you are out of the house. If you get newspapers delivered, have a neighbor retrieve them every day that you are away
- Delay the intruder from gaining access to your home. Install good quality entrance locks and deadbolt locks on your doors. Always keep doors and windows locked. If you can delay a burglar for about nine minutes, statistically, he will give up and go elsewhere.
- Detect a burglar. The best way to detect a burglar is with an electronic security system. The next best way is to “Target Harden” your home so that the burglar is forced to make a lot of noise to gain entry. Be a good neighbor. If you hear or see something suspicious, CALL THE POLICE.
- There are three lines of Defense when it comes to Physical Security, Perimeter Barriers, Exterior Controls and Interior Controls.
- Perimeter Barriers are the first line of defense. They include fences, landscaping and security lighting.
- Exterior Controls are all exterior doors. They should be solid core or steel construction. Make sure that doors are properly aligned in their frames. All entry locks should have an anti-shim mechanism, and all deadbolt locks should extend 1 inch into the jamb.
- Interior Controls consist of safes and locking filing cabinets. They should be both fire and attack rated.
- Key control is essential. Did you change all of the locks when you moved into your home?
Home Safety Tips
- If you have a solid front door, install a peephole so you can see who may have knocked or rang the bell without having to open the door.
- Don’t open the door for strangers under any circumstances.
- If the police knock on your door and you haven’t called them, ask the officer to wait a moment while you confirm their presence with dispatch.
- If someone knocks on your door and requests to use the phone, call the police for them, but don’t let them in.
- Never hide a key under the door mat or in a flower pot near the door. If you must hide a key, place it somewhere around the other side of the house from the front door.
- Keep valuable items out of view from low windows.
- Don’t keep large sums of cash around the house. It’s not insurable.
- Charge your cell phone at night, next to your bed. Have emergency telephone numbers stored in the phone.
- Never reveal personal information over the phone (SS#, D.O.B, etc.) unless YOU initiate the call.
- If you come home and suspect that someone is in your home, GET OUT as quickly and quietly as possible. Call 9-1-1 from your cell phone, once you get outside.
- CARRY PEPPER SPRAY. You can legally carry up to ¾ ounce in all 50 states. A ¾ ounce container will supply you with approximately ten 1 second bursts, or one 10 second burst, or any combination thereof. If you need to use it, don’t announce that you have pepper spray. The element of surprise will keep the attacker from shielding his face with his hands. Aim for the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Don’t keep a spare key to your home in your wallet. If you lose your wallet, that good Samaritan who finds it might make a copy of the key and return at a later date.