Eugene (KMTR) - When it comes to preventing crime what a burglar sees - or doesn't see - can make all the difference. It’s what the Eugene Police Department calls "Crime Prevention through Environmental Design".
The concept is simple. First, criminals are going to look for homes and properties that are in disrepair, where there doesn't appear to be much ownership. So just taking the time to keep up your lawn and exterior sends an important message. Also, police say, one of your biggest defenses against crime is being connected with your neighbors.
EPD Crime Prevention Specialist Tod Schneider explains, “If nobody is watching out for you and you're gone all day, you're extremely vulnerable. But if a burglar encounters a lot of neighbors coming out on their porches saying, ‘Can I help you with something?’ that tells them there's a lot of connectivity here. People are going to notice; people are going to call.”
Homeowners can also prevent crime by improving exterior lighting. Using fencing, such as wrought iron, creates clear boundaries but doesn't hinder the view of the property, which can also be a deterrent to criminals.
Schneider advises making sure shrubbery is not blocking windows: “A big bush in front of a window keeps you from being able to look out your window to see what's out there and provides a great obstacle for anyone else keeping an eye on things, like your neighbors. So a burglar can slip behind that bush and pry open that window, comforted by the fact that you've provided this big bush for them to hide behind.”
The Eugene Police Department has a lot of information available on how to take security measures to help protect your home. There are also video tutorials on the EPD website.