A Crime Prevention Guide                                                                                        Home

Crime prevention tips   

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A comprehensive list of essential crime prevention tips

Why crime prevention?
It is to reduce the risk of being a victim and to remove or minimize criminal opportunities before an actually crime occurs. It also deters an individual from committing a crime.
As in the case of many private homes and businesses gated communities occasionally become targets of perpetrators. In South Africa gated enclaves are enclosed by high walls and electrical fencing added to the top of the wall preventing anyone from clim-
bing over it and to enhance security in general but it's just one way to prevent crime. Additional effective safety measures are required and need to be properly implemented and maintained to further enhance the safety and protection of residents as well
as properties.

Crime prevention tips: Note. These tips come from various sources.
Remember, perpetrators watch complexes and residents closely. Always be on high alert. Watch to see what he/they are up to. Alert each other of any suspicious person/s or suspicious activities. Perpetrators will spend the time to properly target persons, residential complexes and residences. Keep in mind that perpetrators will choose the easiest targets (soft targets) first.
Never develop a false sense of security or pretend that something bad could never happen to you or your family. Eliminate that mindset and start introducing home security before it is too late. The responsibility for security rests on your shoulders.
Keep windows, doors and garagedoors locked when you are not at home or at sleep. Quite often perpetrators just go through unlocked doors or windows.
Install a home security system and motion censors.
Perpetrators gain entry most often by kicking in doors. Install steel security gates to improve door security.


                                                 
Image 1) Security gate destroyed. Image 2) Stone in mailbox. The stone was found in the mailbox of a house that was broken
into. A variety of items are used to mark your home as a potential target.

If you have security gates on your doors, they should open outwards to ensure that they cannot be kicked in.
But be aware. Security gates can either be bent out of the frame using a car jack or perpetrators can easily bend it upwards - the
two side bars of the gate are separated from the bottom horizontal bar at it's weakest points, the bottom corners. The strength of
the lower section of the security gate collapses making it easy to bend upwards. With that section out of the way the wooden
door is then kicked in. See. Image 1). Security gate destroyed.
Install a security gate between your living area and your sleeping area to protect you and your family in case a perpetrator gains entry.
Do not hide keys under the doormat, in the mailbox or in a pot plant. If needed, leave a spare key with a family member or a
trusted neighbour.
Store expensive jewelry, electronics, and important documents in a safe at home or even better, a safe deposit box at your local bank.
Install the right exterior doors. They should be solid wood or metal.
Conceal wiring of your security system. A perpetrator looks for places where he can disconnect it.
Install a wide-angle peephole in your front door so that you'll always know who's on the other side of the door.
Find peepholes with covers to prevent people from looking back in with special tools, like a reverse peephole viewer.
Install a peephole in the door leading from the garage to the house. If you hear suspicious sounds, you can check without opening the door. And keep that door locked at all times.
We all have tiled roofs, ensure that you secure your ceiling trapdoors.
Never allow anyone into your home you don't know. And never trust anyone you don't know.
Keep your cell phone ready to call the police or a friend.
Never let people know when youíre away from home on Twitter and Facebook or in a conversation with or presence of strangers.
A note on burgular bars, set them inside the window, this way the glass has to be broken to get at them.
In South Africa perpetrators use a variety of items to mark your home as a potential target. Check your street, gate, driveway and areas around the house for items and signs that seem suspicious: a plastic bag stuck on the fence, a stone or stones in the driveway or on a wall, a stray cooldrink can in front of your property, signs on the wall, bottles, etc. Remove them whether they
seem suspicious or not. See. Image 2) Stone in mailbox.
Do not give out security gate remote control codes or keypad codes to anyone. If someone asks you for it, ask why the code is needed.
Beware of persons posing as a delivery man, etc.
Get to know your neighbours and their daily patterns.
Consider careful screening of prospective tenants.
Make up a list of names, addresses, phone numbers and emails of your neighbours and if possible the residents.
Always notify a close neighbour when you go on vacation. Provide contact details in case of emergency. Use timers to switch
lights on and off when you're away for extended periods.
Know your neighbourhood and the daily patterns.
If you use labour from the street,eg: a gardener. Request identification.
Keep an eye on gardeners, carpet cleaners, electricians or whoever is allowed access into your garden or home. Many perpe-
trators use this cover to check out homes.
Donít leave objects outside that can be used to break into your house.
Report any suspicious persons that are parked in your area or just driving around. If possible, write down the license plate
numbers and description of the car.
Inform residents of current crime trends, crime activities or to be on the lookout for suspicious persons or activities.
Make sure there aren't tall bushes that someone can hide behind. Trim bushes and keep shrubs below 700mm.
Avoid placing bins or benches near walls as these could be used as ladders for perpetrators.
Do not admit strangers into the complex or your house. Request identification where necessary.
Ensure that entrances - driveways, gates, doors and pathways - are well lit. Dark places conceal perpetrators and their actions.
Sliding glass doors are easy targets for the perpetrator and are frequent points of entry. The locks on sliding glass doors can be quickly pried open. The doors can also be easily removed from their tracks unless they are properly secured. To prevent removal
of doors, install pan head (large head) sheet metal screws in upper track at both ends and the middle so frame just clears the
head of the screws. To secure a door in position, you can also drill a hole at a downward angle in the overlapping frames of the
door at the top center. Then insert a steel pin or a heavy nail. A metal bar that attaches to the side frame and fits across the
middle of the sliding door, running parallel to the floor, can be used to prevent opening of the door. (City of Orland Police Depart-
ment, US.)

Avoid everyday predictable activity patterns.
Don't display gifts or other valuables where they can easily been seen from a window or doorway. And don't leave any valuables unattended near a window.
Avoid attracting perpetrators. Don't leave possesions, bicycles, etc, outside. Put them away.
Roll up the windows and lock the car, even if it's parked in front of your home.
Don't leave valuables and keys in the vehicle.
Install a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel, column, or brakes.
Controlled access to an apartment complex is an essential crime prevention feature. And ensure gate is closed before you
proceed. An open gate allows perpetrators to enter the complex unlawfully.
Start an internal patrolling program. It's extremely effective.
It is imperative that internal patrolling and those concerned with crime prevention avoid releasing essential information to every
Tom, Dick and Harry.
Start a Gated Community Watch program. Residents should organize their very own Gated Community Watch Group. Gated Community Watch (GCW) is simply an organized group of owners and tenants who are dedicated to stopping crime before it
takes place in a their complex. How? By letting potential perpetrators know they are being watched or by means of reporting a suspicious person or activity. Any one can join.

We can achieve safe and secure gated communities, only if we work together