Monday, September 15, 2014


Whatever you are thinking about securing, whether it be your home, car, garage, farm or business, use these ten principles as a checklist. Think of your survey as peeling through the layers of an onion. Start at the perimeter of the premises and work your way in to the centre of the building, considering all ten principles at each layer.

You can also use this advice to approach improving security in your own home or the homes of vulnerable people in your community.

One - Target hardening

Target hardening means: "Making targets more resistant to attack or more difficult to remove or damage."

A target is anything that an offender would want to steal or damage. It could be an object, property, person or in some cases an animal, such as a valuable pet.

Here are some examples of Target Hardening.
  • fitting better doors, windows or shutters
  • window or door locks
  • alarms
  • screens in banks and building societies
  • fencing systems
  • repairing damaged and derelict property
  • fitting a wheel lock to a vehicle.
Two - Target removal

Target Removal is: "Permanent or temporary removal of vulnerable persons or property".

Quite simply this means making sure that any object in which a potential offender might be interested is not visible.

Examples include:
  • removing radios from parked cars
  • keeping car keys out of sight, in a pocket or draw
  • placing valuable items in a secure location
  • demolishing derelict property
  • removing jewellery from shop windows at night
  • moving small vulnerable items nearer to cash tills in shops
  • re-housing vulnerable people.
Target Removal can be quite a simple process. Simply putting the car into the garage and locking it up is a good example of target removal.

Three - Remove the means to commit crime

The previous techniques are aimed at reducing the risks directly associated with the target. Removing the Means to Commit Crime looks at the problem from a different point of view.

Removing the means to commit crime means:  "Making sure that material capable of being used to help an offender commit a crime is not accessible."

Remove the means 1
Look at this photograph. What could be changed to reduce the chance of a crime taking place?

The dustbins could provide an easy access to the open window. Removing these dustbins and locking them away in a shed would remove the means to commit crime. Think about how many times you have seen large wheely bins around industrial premises. These can easily be used as mobile platforms. To remove this threat they could be chained or locked up so that they cannot be moved.

Other examples of removing the means to commit crime are:
  • locking up tools and gardening equipment
  • securing building materials such as scaffolding
  • using plastic drinking glasses in venues where there is a history of disorder.
Four - Reduce the payoff

Reduce the payoff means: "Reducing the gain for the criminal if a crime is committed"

Examples of this include:
  • using a safe to reduce the amount of cash held in a till
  • using a replica in a shop window
  • property marking to make items identifiable and therefore less valuable to the criminal.
Bear in mind that even though adequate insurance will not reduce the gain to the criminal, it will reduce the loss to the individual or organisation.

New Postcoding
Five - Access control

Access control means: "Restricting access to sites, buildings or parts of sites and buildings."

There are many forms of Access control. Some of them are quite complex, but some are relatively simple.

Examples include:

  • door locks (and making sure doors are shut)
  • identity cards
  • entry card systems
  • entry phones
  • baggage screening
  • separate entries and exits
  • combination locks.
Six - Visibility / Surveillance

This principle is defined as "Making sure that offenders would be visible if they carried out a crime." Unlike any of the other principles, there are three types of surveillance, these are:
  • Natural
  • Formal
  • Informal.
Like all the other principles there is a range of methods and techniques that can be applied.

Natural surveillance

Involves modifying the existing surroundings to increase visibility. It can include:
  • pruning or removing shrubbery
  • improving or installing lighting
  • changing the height of fences
  • placing a playground area so that it overlooks nearby homes (and is overlooked by those homes).
Shell Light
Low level dusk to dawn lights will improve natural surveillance.

Formal surveillance

Uses technology or specialist staff who are employed or tasked to deter and identify actual or potential offenders.

Formal surveillance methods include:
  • deploying police and security staff
  • store detectives
  • alarm systems
  • caretakers tasked with a security role
  • closed circuit television (CCTV) systems.
Some formal surveillance systems can be on a small scale, for example individual shops and premises. On the other hand, there are some large scale systems, such as city centre CCTV systems.

Informal or employee surveillance

This involves residents, employees and the community being encouraged to be vigilant and knowing what to do when they see a potential risk. For example receptionists, counter staff and office staff can be trained to spot potential problems. Procedures should be put in place to tell individuals or staff what to do if they see anything suspicious.

Seven - Environmental design

Crime prevention using Environmental design is a large topic. It involves: "Changing the environment of a building, a site, an estate or a town to reduce opportunities for committing crime."

The emphasis is on putting a range of preventive measures in place at the planning stage. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) can be used in existing environments, or in new developments. It can include a whole range of features, such as:
  • Visibility/Surveillance
  • Target Hardening
  • street and pathway layout
  • lighting.
Crime prevention can be built into a new housing development at the planning stage.

On this estate there are several features:

Environmental Design
  • All doors and windows have good quality locks.
  • Planting has been kept to a minimum to increase surveillance.
  • The estate has an open design which also increases surveillance.
  • There are parking spaces outside each house which deter possible offences by providing more surveillance of the cars.
  • Opposite the row of houses there is seating and a park which encourages people to circulate.
  • The driveway paving is a different colour and texture to the public spaces. This lets any potential offenders know that they are on private land.
  • There is good street lighting and lighting outside each front door.
The whole approach to crime prevention on this estate was considered at the planning stage and crime prevention measures are used in a co-ordinated way.

Eight - Rule setting

Rule setting means: "The introduction of legislation, by-laws and codes of conduct, which set out what is acceptable behaviour."

There are many types of Rule setting, here a just a few:
  • Wearing ID badges.
  • Internal rules within businesses.
  • Local by-laws, such as those limiting consumption of alcohol in public places.
  • Signs prohibiting access to buildings or certain areas in buildings.
  • Requests to report to reception.
  • Laws enacted by Parliament.
Nine - Increase the chance of being caught

"Anything that slows down an offender or increases their risk of being caught."

Preventive methods are more effective if the offender risks being caught. Anything that slows down an offender or increases the chance of detection is an effective method of prevention. This means that good Target Hardening increases the time it takes to enter a building and increases the chances of being spotted. The longer it takes to commit an offence, the more vulnerable the offender feels.

Increasing the chance of an offender being caught can be achieved by:
  • proper management of CCTV systems
  • lighting that makes offenders more visible
  • making sure security equipment works properly
  • putting several preventive methods in place, which slows an offender down even further
  • alerting offenders to the fact that CCTV systems and alarms are being used
  • publicising successes in detecting offenders.
Ten - Deflecting offenders

This is the final principle of crime prevention and means: " Diverting the offenders and potential offenders from committing crime."

This involves agencies working with young people and offenders to influence standards, thinking and attitudes. The aim is to prevent potential offenders turning to crime.

Examples include:
  • education programmes & schools programmes
  • drug action teams
  • youth groups and organisations
  • providing training and work experience.
This method of preventing crime is increasing and the introduction of Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships has encouraged multi-agency working.

Safety in your home

Make sure that any security measures (such as window locks) don't block your escape route - and that you can get out of the house as quickly as possible. Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. Make sure you have an escape plan and that everyone in your household knows it.

Related Articles:

Vivotek IP Surveillance:
Vivotek Network Video Surveilance

1 comment:

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