GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR HOMES AND APARTMENTS
GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS... The more eyes watching your neighborhood, the better! Once you know your neighbors, you learn their routines and vice versa. People who don't belong in the area will stand out and be noticed.
Your entire property (walkways, porches, doorways, garages, car ports, trash enclosures, etc.) should be well lit with a continuous white-colored light. Motion detectors are not recommended because people become desensitized to them. White lights such as metal halide or fluorescent, allow people to see colors and distinguish features. Use a combination of overhead lighting, spot lighting and ground lighting to eliminate shadows and dark areas.
Thorny landscaping (holly, bougainvillea, roses) should be placed under all first story windows. Landscaping should not be allowed to block lighting fixtures, windows, or pathways. Maintenance is extremely important. Shrubs, hedges, and bushes should not be allowed to grow above 18" and canopies of trees should not be allowed to grow below 7'. Trees should be pruned so that light can pass through the foliage to increase visibility. Strategically locate hedges to define property lines so that people who are misusing the space are easily observed. Choose lacey-style trees and plantings rather than dense varieties to improve visibility. Plant vines along barren walls to prevent graffiti and other vandalism.
Fencing properties with wrought iron style fencing, picket fencing or landscaping helps define property boundaries and eliminates potential offenders from loitering and other illegitimate behaviors. Fence posts should have decorative elements and finials to eliminate opportunities to climb, lurk, and loiter.
Common or shared mailboxes should be placed in high-traffic, supervised areas. Houses with separate mailboxes should have mail drops that fall directly into the home or a locked box. To help prevent identity theft, no outgoing mail should be left at the mailbox.
Windows along all of the sides of the house are strongly encouraged. It increases visibility and awareness. Open your doors and windows to keep a clear view of the streets around your house.
Note: Although there are many suggestions for residential areas, the issues remain clear - take care of what you have so that others will feel your sense of ownership and commit their crime elsewhere.