Crime Prevention Tips
The Norfolk Police Division believes teamwork is the key to
effectively reducing crime Everyone must commit themselves to
addressing public safety issues and crime prevention measures. These
crime prevention tips can help citizens develop skills in the areas
of home security, marking and securing valuables, and making their
homes less of a target for criminals.
Shrubbery should never block the view of your doors or windows.
An intruder may hide behind the shrubbery while trying to gain
entrance to your home.
Nameplates on doors or mailbox should have last name only. Do not
indicate your gender or marital status.
House numbers should be clearly visible from the street. This
will help the police find your house quickly in case of an
A wide-angle viewer in the door lets you see your visitor before
opening the door.
Always keep garage doors closed and locked. Intruders may seek
entrance through the garage, burglarize the garage or even use tools
stored in your garage to break into your home. Keep tools in a
locked location. The single lock on the garage door is not enough to
keep intruders from prying up the opposite side and crawling in.
Secure your garage door by:
- adding another bolt and padlock to the opposite side
- installing a pair of cane bolts to the inside (these operate
from the inside only)
- add a top center hasp-any person of average height can
operate this device
- cover garage windows so burglars cannot see whether or not
the garage is empty
- display your house number on your garage door or backyard
fence - this will help police locate your house quickly when
responding to a call
- secure attic openings in attached carports or garages by
installing a case-hardened hasp and padlock
Windows naturally impose a great security problem. One way to
protect windows is by using unbreakable, transparent polycarbonate
materials which look like glass, but are very difficult to break.
The material is very expensive, however. Another method of
protecting windows is by installing burglar bars. These should be
easily opened from the inside, with a key or latch that requires no
"special" knowledge to operate. Prior to installation, check local
fire and building requirement. Another consideration is to install
storm windows that not only offer burglar protection, but also
conserve energy. Primary interest in securing windows is to
eliminate entry by prying open. Most burglars avoid breaking glass
due to fear of attracting attention.
Warning: One bedroom window on the
ground and second floor must be left available as a fire exit. The
bedroom window may often be the quickest and safest means of escape
if fire occurs at night.
Good exterior lighting is important, especially when the yard
area is obscured by shrubbery. Locate outside lights under the eaves
where it would be difficult for an intruder to reach them. An
inexpensive timer or photoelectric cell will automatically turn
lights on at dusk and off at dawn.
There are several types of lighting that work well for outdoor
security. Some of them are:
- mercury vapor- more efficient and longer lasting
- metal-halide - brighter light, good for color rendition,
slightly less efficient then mercury vapor
- high pressure sodium vapor - efficient and lasts well - gold
white to a pink colored light
- incandescent - low cost and good color rendition, but short
- fluorescent - energy efficient but temperature sensitive -
works well for indoor lighting.
Other inexpensive outdoor deterrents
Signs - Beware of Dog", Neighborhood
Group, "Operation I.D." or alarm sings might help to deter potential
Dogs -A barking dog is still proven to
be a deterrent.
Addressing - Place you house number
near the front door and preferably near a light. Also place house
numbers in alleys or on back fence when the area is accessible. Only
put your last name on a mailbox or door sign. Never put "Ms." or
your first name.
Alarms - Don't depend only upon an
alarm to protect you... be sure to use the proper locking devices.
An alarm does not physically keep a burglar out of your home or
- Any alarm system should include:
- a battery failsafe back-up
- smoke-sensing capability
- read-out ability to check working of system
- horn sounding device installed in attic through vent
In addition to the alarm sounding at the residence, your system
should transmit a signal to the alarm company, this will insure
notification of the police.
WHILE ON VACATION, BE SURE TO LOCK YOUR HOME BEFORE
YOU LEAVE AND LET A TRUSTED NEIGHBOR HAVE A KEY AND EMERGENCY
Protecting your neighbors from crime helps to protect your home
as well. If you see suspicious activity around a neighbor's home (or
your own!), an officer can be sent to the location to check out the
activity and possibly prevent or stop a crime from occurring. Below
is just a list of suspicious activities that should alert you to
call the police.
- Going door to door, especially if one or more persons go to
the rear of the residence or business.
- Waiting or loitering in front of a house or business if the
business is closed or house is unoccupied.
- Forcing entry into your neighbor's house or an unoccupied
- Person running and/or carrying property at unusual hours.
- Foot traffic too and from a location on a regular constant
- Person loitering around cars, especially if they are peering
inside or trying the door handles.
- Person loitering around schools, parks or secluded areas.
- Strangers walking or driving through the area, especially
making several or slow passes by an area.
- "Delivery man" with the wrong address or asking for someone
- Parked vehicles, especially if they are left for long
periods or have strangers sitting in them.
- Vehicles being loaded with property, especially from a
closed or vacant home or business.
- Vehicles containing valuables or weapons.
- Locked vehicle when someone is trying to force entry or
- Property in homes, garages or storage areas if it is a large
accumulation or in good condition, but not used.
- Property offered for sale at a very low price.
- Open or broken windows or doors on closed businesses or
- Unusual sounds such as gunshots, screaming, breaking glass
or dogs barking continuously.
- A person exhibiting unusual actions or "slinking" through
Making a report to the Police Department:
The number to call when reporting suspicious activity or an
emergency is 9-1-1. Give the police dispatcher:
- Your name, address and phone number
- The reason for the call
- The location of the activity
- The description of the suspect and/or any vehicle
Do not hang up until you are sure the dispatcher has all the
information required. IMPORTANT! Tell the dispatcher any direction
of travel if suspects leave prior to police arrival.
Be sure to make a written note of as many of the above
descriptors (see illustration) as possible. The dispatcher may not
want all of the above information at the time of receiving the call.
Keep the information for the officer when he/she arrives.
Get out of the intruder's way!
Never get between a burglar and the exit and NEVER try to stop
him/her. It may cost you your life! If someone is prowling outside
your house, make the prowler think that several people are at home.
Call to someone, "Dan, there's someone outside!" Call the police. If
it is dark, turn on the lights. If the intruder has already broken
in, retreat and put other doors between the two of you. It's a good
idea to have a deadbolt on an interior door. If you can't get out,
try to signal a neighbor - throw something through a window, just
the noise may frighten a burglar away. If someone should enter your
bedroom while you are in bed, pretend that you are asleep (as long
as he/she doesn't come near you). If you have children, be sure that
they do as they say as well. Remain claim - your life is more
important that your property. Memorize a description of the
intruder. When the intruder has left, write it down...don't depend