Crime Prevention And Neighborhood Watch
How To Reduce Crime In Your Neighborhood
While we don't like to talk about it - or even think about it - crime is on the increase in America, and throughout the world. The number of burglars, muggers, auto thieves, robbers, purse snatchers, etc., is growing at an alarming rate. Now you, as a resident, working with neighbors can help reduce the crime rate. How? By joining the Aberdeen Township Neighborhood Watch Program in which you and your neighbors get together to learn how to protect yourselves, your family, your home and your property. Working together, you can get the criminals off your block and out of your area. There's safety in numbers and power through working with a group. You'll get to know your neighbors better, and working with them you can reduce crime, develop a more united community, provide an avenue of communications between police and citizens, establish on-going crime prevention techniques in your neighborhood, and renew citizen interest in community activity.
The program does not require frequent meetings (once a month or so). We do not ask anyone to take personal risks to prevent crime. This is NOT a "vigilante" group:
The program gathers citizens together to learn crime prevention from the police department. You cooperate with your neighbors to report suspicious activities in the neighborhood, to keep an eye on homes when the resident is away, and to keep everyone in the area mindful of the standard precautions for property and self that should always be taken. Criminals avoid neighborhoods where such groups exist.
Through cooperation with us some of the things you will learn are:
- What to do in an emergency.
- How to best identify a suspicious person.
- How to identify a vehicle being used in a suspected criminal activity.
- Signs to watch out for before entering a house or apartment that may be in the process of being burglarized.
- What to do in case of injury.
- What to do about suspicious people loitering on your street.
- How to identify stolen merchandise.
- How to recognize auto theft in progress.
- How to protect your house or apartment.
- How to recognize a burglary in progress.
- How to protect yourself and family - and much more.
Remember, police officers can't be everywhere. Your cooperation with us is for the benefit of you, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood. For information on the Aberdeen Neighborhood Watch Program please contact Lieutenant Geyer or Lieutenant Cole at 732-566-2054.
Safety At Your Front Door
- Never automatically open your front door. Make sure you know your caller's identity before admitting them.
- If the person at your door is a stranger, ask for identification to be passed under the door. If he is unable to do this, do not admit them.
- It is advisable to have a wide angle viewer (peep-hole) in the door so that you can check a person's identity without unlocking your door.
- All doors in your home leading to the outside should have dead-bolt locks.
- When away at night, leave a light on.
- Do not leave a key over a door or under a mat.
- Mark your valuables and keep an accurate record of all your most valuable possessions.
- When leaving on a trip: A. Stop all deliveries. B. Connect a light to a timer. C. Notify the police department and request a “house check” and have a neighbor check your home periodically. D. Have someone maintain your lawn.
- Be a concerned neighbor. If you see a suspicious person, car or situation, contact the police.
Safety For The Apartment Dweller
- If you live in an apartment building with an intercom system to the front door, make sure the landlord keeps it in operating order.
- Never admit anyone unless you are expecting him or know him.
- Never admit anyone to the building who is there to see another tenant or to deliver something to another apartment.
- Anyone asking admission so that he can do some work for another tenant should not be admitted, but should be referred to the building's manager.
- If you see someone in your building who looks out of place or is acting suspiciously, contact the police.
- Observe elevator interior before entering. Wait until the next elevator if you are uncertain of any occupant.
- Females riding the elevator alone should always stand near the control panel. If accosted, press ALL buttons.
- If a suspicious person enters the elevator, exit before the door closes.
- Before exiting from the elevator, observe the corridor for suspicious activity.
When Planning Vacations Or Prolonged Absences
- Discontinue milk, newspaper, and other deliveries by phone or in person ahead of time. Do not leave notes.
- Arrange for lawn care and have someone remove advertising circulars and other debris regularly. On the other hand, several toys scattered about will create an impression of occupancy.
- Notify the post office to forward your mail or have a trustworthy person pick it up daily. Apartment house tenants should also heed this hint since stuffed mail receptacles are a give-away when no one is home.
- Inform neighbors of your absence so they can be extra alert for suspicious persons. Leave a key with them so your place may be periodically inspected. Ask them to vary the positions of your shades and blinds.
- When you leave, do not publicize your plans. Some burglars specialize in reading newspaper accounts of other people's vacation activities.
- If you find a door or window has been forced or broken while you were away, DO NOT ENTER. The criminal may still be inside. Use a neighbor's phone immediately to summon police.
- Do not touch anything or clean up if a crime has occurred. Preserve the scene until police inspect for evidence.
Always Remember To
- Lock before you leave.
- Trust a neighbor with a key.
- Be a concerned neighbor - yourself.
How To Burglar-proof Your Doors
The majority of devices mentioned in this report cost very little. All of them will help reduce burglary and make your house or apartment more secure.
Begin with a home "security" check. Start with the front door and work clockwise around the entire inside of your home, finishing with the back yard, fence and shrubs, gates and garage.
Shrubbery should never block the view of your front door. This allows an intruder the opportunity of privacy to gain entrance. A wide angle viewer in the door lets you know your visitor in advance. This item is recommended over a chain lock.
Locks, Bolts And Hinges
A DEAD-LATCH is an inexpensive lock set which keeps the burglar from simply slipping your door open with a plastic credit card. This method of entry is common in many areas, but very easy to prevent.
The Rim Lock: 1" dead bolt lock which is installed on the inside surface of the door. It is less expensive than other typed of locks, but equally effective for security.
The "Jimmy Proof" Rim Lock: is another lock which is installed on the inside surface of the door. But this lock has vertical dead bolts, which is an approved locking device.
Cane Bolts: 1/2" in diameter by 12" high installed at the top & bottom of the inactive door offers minimum security. Many homes with pairs of doors use half-barrel slide bolts on the inactive door. These are week and totally inadequate.
Flush Bolts: Installed at the top and bottom of the inactive door or a pair of doors, flush bolts offer additional security, since the intruder cannot get at these devices to tamper with them if the doors are locked.
Some exterior doors are improperly installed so that the hinges are installed from outside. To protect such a door from being lifted from its hinges by pulling the hinge pin, follow these simple steps:
- Remove two screws, opposite each other, from both leaves of the hinge.
- Insert screw or concrete nail into jamb leaf, protruding 1/2".
- Drill out the opposing screw hole in the door. Do this in the top and bottom hinge of the door. When closed, the hinge pins may be removed, but the door will remain firmly in place.
How To Burglar-proof Your Windows
Many burglars enter homes by simply breaking glass windows. A good deterrent is to have better quality glass installed at vulnerable points around the perimeter of your residence. Most burglars avoid attempting to break the following types of glass due to the fear of attracting attention:
Laminated Glass is made by a vinyl or plastic interlayer sandwiched between two layers of glass. This type of glass adds additional strength to your windows. To gain entry, a burglar would have to strike the glass repeatedly in the same spot in order to make a small opening. Most burglars are reluctant to create this type of noise for fear of being detected.
Tempered Glass is made by placing a piece of regular glass in an oven, bringing it almost to the melting point, and then chilling it rapidly. This causes a skin to form around the glass. Fully tempered glass is four to five times stronger than regular glass.
Wired Glass adds the benefit of a visible deterrent. Extra effort will be needed to break the glass and then cut through the wire located within the glass, in order to gain entry.
Plastics: Plastic material is divided into two types: acrylic or polycarbonate. The acrylics are more than ten times stronger than glass of the same thickness and are commonly called Plexiglas. Polycarbonate sheets are superior to acrylics and are advertised as 250 times more impact resistant than safety glass, and 20 more times than other transparent plastic.
With Sliding Windows the primary objective is to keep the window from sliding or being lifted up and out of the track. There are many manufactured products available for securing windows.
Here are some of the suggestions:
Pinned Window Anti-Slide Block Slide Bolt: It is not recommended that you lock a window in a ventilated position. This is an invitation to a prying action which can result in entry. Key locking devices offer no real security, and they can be a fire exit hazard.
Casement Windows are the simplest to secure. Make sure the latch works properly and that the "operator" has no excess play. If so, replace the worn hardware.
Double Hung Window latches may be jimmied open. If a window is not used, screw it shut (except bedrooms). For windows in use, drill a sloping hole into the top of the bottom window, through and into the bottom of the top window, and insert an easily removable pin or nail.
Louvre Windows are bad security risks. Remove and replace with solid glass or other type of ventilating window. Or protect with a grate or grille (except bedrooms).
Warning: One window in every bedroom on the ground and second floor must be left available as a fire exit, particularly for children and guests in your home. At night, the bedroom window may often be the quickest and safest means of getting out. Because of the danger of fire, decorative grilles are not recommended on bedroom windows.
How To Select A Burglar Alarm
Burglars dislike noise - it attracts attention. A barking dog is the best deterrent in preventing burglaries. However, a watch dog cannot always be depended upon. Some professional burglars have been known to carry delectable "dog snacks" in their pockets - and with a full stomach, some watch dogs make friends easily and forget their purpose of guarding the premises. The most reliable safe-guard to protect your home and possessions is a reliable alarm. Many types of burglar alarms can be obtained for residential use. It is advisable, however, that basic hardware security measures be followed first. If additional security is desired, the following recommendations could be helpful.
- Obtain estimates from three alarm companies, notifying each of this procedure.
- An audible alarm is recommended over silent alarms for residential use in order to first protect persons and secondly, property.
Don't depend entirely upon an alarm system to protect you - be sure to use proper locking devices. Any alarm system should include:
A. A battery-powered fail-safe back-up.
B. Fire-sensing capability.
C. Read-out ability to check working of system.
D. Horn sounding device installed in attic through vent.
When shopping for an alarm system, take this list with you.
If the value of small personal items warrants protection, a secondary barrier is an additional safeguard. On a hinging closet door, install a 1" dead bolt lock. Store your jewels, furs, cameras, guns, silverware and other valuables behind this barrier. Be sure to "pin" the hinges (as outlined in "How To Burglar - Proof Your Doors")
These crime prevention techniques combined with a common sense approach toward safety will help to reduce your risk factors for becoming a crime victim.