27 Jul Crime Prevention
Crime takes many forms be it a burglary from property or vehicles, vandalism or even riots. The overall cost of crime has a knock on affect that has both monetary and social consequences. If you are a business or shop owner protecting your property and stock is now a key factor in considering what levels of security you should invest in. The same is true for householders who face the constant worry that when they leave their home to go to work, visit friends or go on holiday even for very short periods of time, it can be targeted by thieves.
It is no wonder that we all have to start taking Crime Prevention very seriously. In a domestic scenario we have all heard of neighbourhood watch schemes which have been somewhat ridiculed in the media and seen as just nosey neighbours and sergeant major types holding meetings and putting up posters. Statistically areas that do have a neighbourhood watch scheme benefit from lower crime figures which makes sense as the prevention of crime is something that on mass can be stopped, in other words safety in numbers works. A thief will think twice about breaking into a property within a neighbourhood watch area as he does not know who might just be watching him.
The next step in the prevention of crime is thinking like a burglar might think. Take a look at your property and establish just how crime resistant it is. Most domestic burglaries happen during the late afternoon as this is when the majority of people are out. The roads are busier with commuters and the school run meaning any police response is also slowed. There are two main types of burglary the first being the opportunist who sees a weak link ie an open window takes advantage and slips into the property usually only taking small items such as cash, jewellery and mobile phones etc. The next is the planned burglary which is carried out usually after the property has been observed for a few days to ensure the occupiers are away on holiday or out for the day. This is the most damaging forms of burglary as in most cases the house is ransacked and larger items are taken. This kind of burglary is very distressing due to its almost personal nature.
Preventing these kinds of burglary require different approaches. Simple rules such as keeping windows and doors locked at all times (unless you are in the same room) ensuring that you have good security lighting and a reliable alarm system. Not leaving valuables on view and ensuring the house and car keys are kept in a draw as having these stolen can cause a whole load of expense and insurance misery if your car is stolen using the keys. Other things to consider are over grown foliage near windows which can hide a burglar from view and leaving ladders unsecured in the garden which can be used to access flat roofs and bathroom windows. Keep the garden shed well secured to prevent your own tools from being used to break in to your house. If possible join a neighbourhood watch scheme and stay up to date with any crimes that take place in the local area.
Following some basic crime prevention rules can help to put of the average burglar. But what is the next level of prevention? A good alarm is essential as it will definitely reduce the amount of time a burglar will stay spend in your property. It may not actually physically stop a break in but a property without an alarm is much more likely to be targeted. The very fact that an alarm has been activated will panic a burglar and alert neighbours and passer-by’s. The last resort in many people’s eyes is fitting security grilles, bars or shutters to doors and windows. This physical approach is certainly the best way of preventing crime and burglary to you home. Modern retractable grilles powder coated white blend in effortlessly with most homes. Fitting them within the reveal of the window means they can be hidden behind curtains when not in use and have little impact visually when folded away. The plus side being they are highly visible when they are opened giving both a physical and visual deterrent to the potential burglar. Grilles are commonly used to protect the vulnerable openings in your home; these include patio doors, French doors and any windows at the rear of the property. Although roller shutters are not commonly used in the UK on domestic dwellings they are very popular on the continent. One type of shutter which is now being used extensively on new builds is the built in roller shutter. This type of shutter is designed to have the guides and box built into the fabric of the building so when not in use it totally hidden from view. When required the shutter curtain can be lowered to protect the doors and windows. This is a very neat security solution used commonly on Doctors Surgeries and schools, although they are now starting to be used more often for domestic dwellings.
Crime Prevention on a commercial scale has to deal with some very similar issues to the domestic points raised above. But there are some main differences between domestic and commercial crime. The majority of crime associated with commercial premises tends to be more organised and carried out by gangs of criminals and usually takes place at night or in the early hours. Targets tend to be doctors surgeries, schools and offices. The best way of securing these properties is to look at the key weak areas as trying to secure every vulnerable window and door would be an expensive exercise. As with domestic properties thieves will look for areas of the building that are not well lit under cover and away from main roads.
Fitting physical security grilles or shutters is the next logical step especially if they are installed internally. Having the grilles installed on the inside means that the glass will have to be broken first ideally setting of an alarm. Once the alarm has been activated the burglar now has to gain access through the grille or shutter loosing valuable time that can be spent within the building gathering goods to steal. In fact most burglars want to be in and out of a property within several minutes once the alarm has been activated and are happy to risk setting off the alarm as they plan to be far away by the time the activated alarm is investigated. If grilles or shutters are installed externally there security level is severely reduced as the criminal can attack them without fear of being detected as no alarm will be activated, resulting in the time spent within the property being the same as if no grilles or shutters had ever been installed.
Taking into consideration the location of the premises and assessing the risks within the local area also plays a part in Crime prevention and deciding on what levels of security should be employed to offer adequate protection. This is was apparent during the recent riots in London and other major cities as shop windows which had no physical protection from shutters or retractable grilles had windows smashed and goods damaged and stolen. To prevent this type of mindless vandalism and damage to the shop windows the only real solution is to use roller shutters installed externally. The cost of replacing large glass windows numerous times far outweighs the cost of installing a roller shutter just once.
To sum up as crime increases and criminals become more determined and in some cases more aggressive we need to look at staying one step ahead in the prevention of crime. This requires a united effort within communities and business alike.
Contact QSec today to discuss your security requirements