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Burglaries Increase in HAND Neighborhood

Another Update from Havilah Ferschweiler, Southeast Crime Prevention Coordinator:

Home Security Tips
Recently there has been an increase in burglaries in the HAND neighborhood, so I wanted to take the opportunity to share some home security tips with you. Between 10/15/09-11/15/09 of this year we had 7 burglaries. Three of those were to businesses, one was an apartment and the three others were single family home burglaries. Three of these occurred during the day, with a back window broken as the entry point. For the same time frame last year, we had a total of 5 burglaries in the neighborhood. Often burglaries are a crime of opportunity, so these tips suggest ways to decrease the interest that a burglar might have in your home/apartment. For more in-depth information, please refer to the online resources listed below or contact Havilah Ferschweiler, Crime Prevention Coordinator for the Brooklyn neighborhood at 503-823-0540 or hferschweiler@ci.portland.or.us.

A few tips:

 Keep your front yard free of property that a burglar could just pick up. Most importantly, keep the front of your house visible from the street.
 Landscaping is important to consider. Bushes should be trimmed (usually no higher than three feet high). Tree branches should be trimmed six feet off the ground. By increasing the visibility of your home, your neighbors are able to see if anything unusual is happening.
 Balance privacy with security. Fences should be no higher than six feet along the sides and back of your home. Good neighbor fences (alternating fencing slats) provide privacy and sight visibility. Fencing for the front of your home should be low. Consider locks for any gates you may install.
 Don’t leave objects lying around including ladders or tools that may be used to enter your home. Pick up newspapers and notices promptly.
 Keep your garage door closed. Many times homeowners who are gardening in the back yard leave the garage doors open. A thief can enter the garage and even the house without you knowing.
 Have the outside of your house/apartment well lit. Many burglaries happen during the daytime while most people are at work, but burglaries do happen at night, too. Keeping secluded areas of your property well-lit will dissuade most burglars. Outside lights connected to motion sensors are inexpensive and may deter a would-be burglar.
 Always keep your front porch light on at night. It’s important for safety, as well as for emergency responders who might need to find your home/apartment in a hurry. Also, leave some interior lights on when you are away at night. Timers are also an excellent way to turn on (and off) lights in certain rooms.
 For more information on door, locks and window security please refer to the Guide to Home and Vehicle Security listed below.

How to get involved…

Residents are encouraged to get involved in helping to reduce crimes and chronic nuisances by participating in two programs offered by ONI Crime Prevention. Both programs are avenues for neighbors to get to know one another.

Neighborhood Watch increases the safety and sense of community in neighborhoods by organizing individuals and families on their own block. Neighborhood Watch teaches neighbors how to recognize and report suspicious activity, as well as offer a chance for neighbors to get to know one another.
Community Foot Patrols provide a visible presence as a deterrent to criminal activity. Active trained patrol volunteers collaborate with crime prevention coordinators and police to reduce neighborhood problems.

Complete a Do-It-Yourself CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) evaluation that you can use to assess the safety of your property. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design – or CPTED, is the proper design, maintenance, and use of the built environment in order to enhance the quality of life and to reduce both the incidence and the fear of crime. This form provides an easy-to-follow outline of CPTED strategies that will help make your location more resistant to crime, and increase the overall feeling of safety. Use this form now as well as in the future as you maintain the changes you make. Here is the link: http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/index.cfm?c=30031&a=268879.

Last, but not least, its important to always report suspicious activity. For suspicious activity, please call the non-emergency number at 503-823-3333. For crimes in progress, always call 9-1-1.

For more information on either block watch or foot patrol, please contact Havilah Ferschweiler at 503-823-0540.

For more information online:
A Guide to Home and Vehicle Security- Portland Police Bureau website at http://www.portlandonline.com/police/index.cfm?c=29869&a=31554.

For additional crime prevention information- ONI Crime Prevention website at http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/index.cfm?c=30031.

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