Crime Prevention and Crime-Free Multi-Housing

Crime-Free HousingThe Vermillion Police Department is pleased to offer Crime Free Multi-Housing. Rental Property Managers and Owners are encouraged to contact us regarding the program. Crime Free Housing is a preventative measure owners and managers can take to help keep illegal activity out of their properties. The premise of the program is learning how to select the right tenants and learning the importance of upkeep and maintenance for the property.

Education on these topics and more is available through the Crime Free Housing Manager's Seminar which is an 8 hour training course for managers and owners. To express interest or to make inquiries regarding Crime Free Housing, contact Officer Mark Foley at 605-677-7070, or via email at mfoley@vermillionpd.org.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Also referred to as the acronym, CPTED and pronounced septed, is a philosophy that design and planning can influence human behavior. The National Crime Prevention Institute cites "The proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the fear and incidence of crime and an improvement in the quality of life". This is similar to the old adage our grandmothers used to tell us that you attract more bees with honey than vinegar. If you portray a good appearance for normal users and define the space and design it properly, it leaves little suggestion for anything other than its intended purpose, even in the eyes of abnormal users. If a space is left unclearly defined and designed or unkempt, normal users will vacate and abnormal users will designate and begin use of the space. CPTED also falls in line with the broken window theory - leave a broken window unrepaired and soon there will be two. Fix a broken window, however, and you maintain the space for normal use and users.

CPTED has four key concepts, Natural Surveillance, Natural Access and Control, Territorial Reinforcement and a Maintenance Plan.

The CPTED philosophy and its key concepts have a proven track record to help reduce actual crime stats. The perception given by spaces where CPTED has been implemented is that the space is safe for normal use. CPTED can be implemented in a small space similar to your front yard, or large spaces like schools and parks by defining, designing and designating spaces using the CPTED concepts.

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