Fences are typically built to distinguish where public property ends and private property begins, and to control access onto your property. However, if your fence is broken or in disrepair it may be attracting unwanted activity and/or criminals to your property.
Although you might see a fence repair as an expensive task on the “Honey Do” list, someone looking to break into your shed, steal a bike, take your bags of bottles, or break into your home, sees this as an opportunity. Research, such as the “Broken Windows Theory,” suggests that when a property looks like it is not being cared for, more crime or unwanted criminal activity will occur because there is less chance it will be noticed.
Of note, on social media lately, is an increase in people reporting that the City of Red Deer garbage/recycling/composting bins are being used as “ladders” to gain access over fences. If possible, move these bins inside your yard or garage so they are not accessible. Make it as difficult as possible for criminals to access your property.
Motion lighting and video cameras are great tools for alerting you and your neighbours when someone might be entering your yard or accessing your shed or garage. Call the RCMP Non-Emergency line at 403-343-5575 to report all suspicious activity in your neighbourhood.
If you would like the staff from the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre to help you figure out some strategies specific to your property, call 403-986-9904. There is no charge for the CACPC to review your property with a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) safety checklist.
By TerryLee Ropchan, CACPC executive director