Crime Prevention

Doing something after a crime has been committed is often fruitless and frustrating for both the victim and the police officer. In many instances criminals are not apprehended, prosecuted nor convicted. Even when the criminal justice system does work, the victims are not spared the irreparable losses of life and property that can result from these crimes. This is particularly true of the one crime that literally hits home: burglary.

Burglaries
Only after a family returns homes and discovers that their privacy has been violated, their home ransacked and valuable belongings have been stolen, can the frustration of the situation by truly felt. The police officer arrives at the scene after the fact and then must piece together the incident as accurately as possible. The officer sometimes asked questions that the victim may think are insignificant. The victim feels the officer should be out instead “catching the bad guy.”

For the police officer, most burglary investigations are very frustrating. Recovered property piles up and must be auctioned off because it has not been identified. Recovered property held in police departments is very insignificant, however, when compared with the millions of dollars in stolen property that is never recovered. Few criminals arrested by the police run the full gamut of prosecution, conviction and imprisonments. Further, restitution to the victim is an extremely rare occurrence. Burglary is truly a crime of frustration.

Burglary is also a crime of opportunity. And this is the root cause of the frustration and frequency of the crime. Reducing the opportunity for burglary can and does work. There is no way to make homes impenetrable. No one, except the criminal element itself, should have to live in a fortress.

Burglary Prevention
Without going to such an extreme, it is important to slow the average burglar down or take away the ease at which he can enter a home. Locks that are easily defeated and doors and windows that are left unlocked when the occupants are away, are examples of opportunities for a burglary to occur. Open garage doors are an invitation to the average burglar.

The most practical approach to burglary reduction is burglary prevention. This is possible by hardening the target or correcting those security weaknesses that criminals perceive as opportunities.

Personal Safety
This also goes for personal safety. A citizen must practice proper crime prevention techniques to reduce the risk of personal injury or worse. Reducing criminal opportunities is clearly the responsibility of the individual citizen.