Natural access control works to eliminate access to potential crime targets while increasing the perception of risk. It is accomplished by clearly marking public access routes through the use of limited entrances, sidewalks, and other natural elements. While not forbidding or completely preventing access, it aims to make it obvious if someone is somewhere they are not supposed to be, thus drawing attention to them. In a retail or business setting this would include placing the registers in the front of the store, blocking direct “escape” routes with displays, benches or planters, limiting the number of entrances and exits as well as signs directing customers to parking lots and entrances.
Natural surveillance is the use of the eyes and ears of those who are around regularly to help monitor your business. These “eyes” can be customers, neighbors or other businesses. It is accomplished through well-lit parking lots, loading areas, and store fronts, windows that provide a clear view in and out of a business and a pedestrian friendly sidewalk. Storefront windows should look out at the parking lot (especially rear lots) or street and should not be blocked by shelving, advertising, or other signs. Entrances should all be under visual or electronic surveillance.
Territorial reinforcement is using low fencing or landscaping to define property lines and to reinforce what is public versus private land. Gates or fencing that is only 4 or 5 feet high is easy enough to overcome, but only at the risk of attracting the attention of a passer-by. It gives those in charge of an area a feeling of control while it discourages potential offenders.
Target hardening simply makes it as difficult as possible to attack a crime target. It includes elements such as dead-bolt locks, window bars, bright lighting, interior door hinges and the use of security systems.
According to 2005 data, there were 4,500 full time residents in Mount Ephraim. We would like that number to swell dramatically during business hours. That will make well over 4,500 sets of eyes available to assist our Police Department and help make Mt. Ephraim a safer place to live, work and do business.