Spring is the time of year for house hunting and Alberta RCMP wants citizens to remember Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles while shopping or planning renovation projects.
CPTED is based on the principle that certain design choices or alterations to existing structures can deter or prevent criminal activity. Consider your budget when going to open houses; Does the house already have CPTED qualities or does it need some work?
The Alberta RCMP launched a new month-long #HouseHuntersRCMPEdition social media campaign. Houses will be posted on a weekly basis and followers will have to determine what's wrong with each property from a CPTED perspective.
Here are some things to consider when purchasing a new house or planning spring projects:
- Install outdoor lighting. This can include solar lights and motion-censored lights.
- Keep yard well-maintained so it's obvious if something is out of place.
- Build a fence.
- Install gates – especially on rural driveways.
- Plant natural barriers under windows or as a natural fence. Thorny plants such as raspberries and roses are good choices.
- Trim trees so you have clear sightlines across the yard.
- Install a security system or cameras.
- Use signage to let potential thieves know the premise is being monitored by video surveillance and/or citizen led watch groups.
- Remove signs that identify you by your last name.
- Create clear definition between the driveway and the grass. This makes it obvious if a car is parked where it shouldn't be.
The public has a vital part to play in keeping our communities safe. By taking CPTED principles into account, we can all enjoy safer neighbourhoods and the RCMP can focus resources on more urgent calls for service.
Remember, if you see something suspicious or something that looks out of place, report it to your local detachment's non-emergency line. If you see a crime in progress, dial 911.
For more CPTED tips, follow our social media accounts on Twitter @RCMPAlberta, Facebook @RCMPinAlberta, and YouTube @RCMP-GRC Alberta.