I want to share a short article on how to go about how to avoid crime while parked. A parked vehicle, specifically an unattended vehicle is a magnet for theft.
I went to a sponsored a workshop in Memphis. We were to plan how to respond to a catastrophic earthquake on the New Madrid Fault-line. The hotel was a fancy downtown establishment with valet parking and a fenced parking lot.
Responders from all over Middle and West TN came in there marked emergency response vehicles. They were mostly from sheriff departments and state law enforcement. 33 marked police vehicles were broken into during the first hour of the conference. This happened in broad daylight in a fenced valet parking lot.
Certainly, it was Memphis. Most importantly, and I did notice a five pointed crown (gang sign) tattoos on the hand of the lady assigned to help us in the conference room.
Theft and Vandalism
- Wherever possible, provide each dwelling with its own locked garage within the property boundaries. Locked garages outside the boundaries or well-lit and visible common car parks are the next best thing.
- Where private garages are not feasible, carport or driveway parking is preferable to group parking away from dwellings.
- As a general rule, underground or multi-story car parks should be avoided. They are a breeding ground for vandalism and crime. If they already exist, limiting entry points and providing them with sturdy locked gates could minimize danger. Each resident could be provided with a lockable garage in their own space, with robust, vandal proof metal doors. Alternatively, users can be provided with a secure lock or a plastic keycard, which operates electronic doors.
- Grouped car parks should be avoided in high-crime areas. If they cannot be avoided, they should be within view of some dwellings. Additionally, garages should be equipped with sturdy gates or tilt doors. The car park should never be sited near a dark alleyway.
- Likewise, open car parks should be small and within view of dwellings. Visitors’ car parks should be clearly identifiable, well lit, and visible from dwellings.
Rape, Assault, Robbery
To make car parks safer, planners should provide direct access from parking areas to the entrance of dwellings.
- Car parks should be no further than 60 meters from dwellings.
- Parking areas should be have lights. They should also free from shrubbery.
- Electronic entry control devices should limit access to enclosed parking.
- Similarly, if it is desirable to limit access to dwellings, make sure access via car parks is monitored as well.
- Additionally, high crime areas may need advanced technological surveillance. An example of this is an infrared unit which detects the presence of intruders by body heat. The unit automatically switches on all lights in the car park and turns them off after 15 to 20 minutes.
In conclusion, you can’t really stop crime when you are not around, but with proper planning you can surely reduce it.