As Crime Prevention Month comes to an end, the National Crime Prevention Council will reflect upon the successes of our constituents and communities in their efforts to prevent crime. One strategy we have consistently gotten feedback on is that simple prevention tips and information are often the best ways to convey information to wide-ranging and varied audiences.
To expand on this notion, one of our National Crime Prevention Level II Specialists, Steven Kerpelman, graciously offered his expertise in the below guest blog. Currently, Mr. Kerpelman serves as the security contractor's Operations Manager and Deputy Project Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. He has extensive experience in the field of security analysis and crime prevention.
Many leaders in crime prevention, such as law enforcement agencies, Neighborhood Watch captains, and security professionals can conduct a crime prevention survey and recommend numerous ways to keep a particular individual, residence, or business more safe and secure.
However, if those recommendations are not understood, they will not be implemented. I believe human nature will stop most individuals from stating that they don’t understand everything we recommend, out of a perceived fear that we may think less of them for not understanding. This is especially important if you use a checklist which doesn’t expand on your recommendations. In the next paragraph, I will explain what I mean with one of the most basic lock recommendations.
If I am going to recommend a double cylinder deadbolt lock for a door because it is next to a glass pane but has a single cylinder deadbolt, I will explain to the individual what double cylinder means exactly. It is important to take the extra minute and tell the individual exactly what you mean and show them. In this example, if you just state the lock must be operated by a key both on the inside and outside, most people will understand this, but they may not understand the term double cylinder. You can think of it this way; prior to becoming involved in crime prevention, did you know what a double cylinder lock was? I am sure you knew that some locks operated by a key on the inside and some had a turn knob, but most of you probably just thought of the interior cylinder as “the turning thing.”
When individuals learn that crime prevention is based on common sense principles, more advanced strategies make more sense to them. I have found that when you keep it simple and explain your areas of concern and solutions to most individuals, they will have a greater sense of what crime prevention entails.
While I use the lock as an example, it should be noted that in some jurisdictions, the double cylinder deadbolt may not be legal.