Police offer homeowners and businesses crime prevention strategies

One thing homeowners think about is how to reduce crime in their neighbourhood or at their home.

Usually that thinking is done only after something has happened. OPP Constable mark Cloes said the best time to turn thoughts to that idea is “before you become a victim.”

By practicing these strate­gies of Crime Prevention Through Environmental De­sign or CPTED (pronounced sep-ted) some of questions will be answered. CPTED provides a common sense way to improve the safety of the living environment.

By examining the three CPTED principles of natural surveillance, natural access control, and territorial rein­force­ment, people can reduce incidents of crime or make their your property less attractive to criminals. Here is one of those principles.

Natural surveillance – is a design concept directed mainly at keeping an eye on intruders. The primary goal of the sur­veillance strategy is to assist in observation; it may also help to create an increased awareness of risk to the offender.

Take an objective look at the property. If the homeowner can answer yes to any of these questions, the property’s nat­ural surveillance needs to be improved.

– Does landscaping or fencing obscure the view to the property from neighbouring prop­erties?

– Are there any areas around the doors or windows where a person could hide?

– Are there areas of contrast or shadow around the property where intruders can lurk without being seen?

To help address any of these concerns, consider adding mo­tion sensitive lights, reduce or prune trees and shrubs, or alter the fencing so intruders can be seen on or near the property.

The county OPP is training officers that can assist homeowners or business own­ers and examine those CPTED principles in relation to a home or business.

Cloes said people can “Call the local county OPP office for a CPTED review and some free crime prevention tips that could make you less of a target.”