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Oakridge Muggings and Safe Environments

May 25th, 2011 | by admin admin | in News |    0   comments

After two violent robberies just east of Oakridge Shopping Centre, Vancouver Police are urging you to be extra cautious. Shortly after 9 p.m. on May 19th, near West 42nd and Alberta, a man demanded money and then hit a teenager on the head with a rock. A few minutes later and a few blocks away, a man threatened two women with a knife and ran away with their cash. VPD release

As we’ve discussed in our blogs about purse snatching and sexual assault, you can take steps to protect yourself against attacks. The VPD’s personal safety tips include carrying a cell phone and whistle or personal alarm. Walking along brightly lit routes with lots of pedestrian traffic, and avoiding bushes, shadowy doorways and alleys, would also be wise. But doing so isn’t always practical.

That’s why police departments, city planners, architects and property owners focus on CPTED – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. The core idea behind these design principles is improving visibility and encouraging interaction. This, in turn, reduces the chances of your property becoming a crime scene.

Improve lighting. Better lit streets, paths, alleys and parks make it easier for neighbours to watch out for each other and monitor public spaces. Bright security lights around your home or business discourage thieves. In an apartment or condo building, ensure all hallways and public areas are well lit.

Clear sight lines. While a low hedge sets a clear boundary for your property, overgrown shrubs can hide offenders. Your landscaping should not screen intruders or block your view of the surrounding area. In a house, a window should overlook all entrances. In a multi-unit building, provide children’s areas that are easy to monitor.

Harden targets. Install solid-core exterior doors and solid door frames with proper strike plates. Apartment and condo doors should have deadbolt locks and peepholes.

You’ll find these and other excellent strategies in the RCMP’s CPTED pamphlet.

Author: Susanna Chu

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