How to use the environment around your home to prevent crime

posted by Brett Westerman -

(STORY IMAGE:KHQ.COM)

SPOKANE, Wash. -There are some simple steps you can take around your home to prevent criminals from even wanting to stop by. It’s through an approach called Crime Prevention Through Environment Design, or CPTED.

Spokane C.O.P.S. actually has a list of things you should look to make changes to. Patrick Striker, executive director of the program, says you can make an appointment to have a volunteer come out and walk you through everything. It only takes about an hour to do.

“You can get a 15-20 percent in your risk overnight just by lighting and cutting down shrubbery… It's very effective,” Striker says.

And if anything, Striker says you can get people thinking about what they can do to make their home more secure.

One thing you might not think about is the landscaping. Striker says you should make sure none of it is blocking your view from the windows and the shrubs are low and away from your home because if not, criminals can use those to try and hide while they’re working to get into your home.

Another thing is to make criminals uncomfortable by defining what’s your property and what’s not. Striker says make sure your neighbors can also see your home and watch out for you too.

You can also make some small modifications to your home too. Striker suggests checking the length of the screws you have in the door or the dead bolt plate. If you make them 3-inch screws, it makes it harder to break in.

There is of course a lot of other things you can make changes to as well, but you can speak with Spokane C.O.P.S. about how you can get your home evaluated for free. Just call your local COPS shop: http://www.spokanecops.org/locations

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