Residential Security – With Changing Political Environment
Updated after incidence of hate message (Nov 24, 2016) –
- Don’t Panic
- Don’t Deal Alone, Call Law Enforcement
- Inform Community, Deal As A Community
Install Home (Perimeter) and Community Cameras
HOA to install signs stating community under surveillance
Often we have solicitors or vendors, either setting flyers or actively selling some products in residential community. Ideally, you should have access control for your community. Just in case, you don’t have one, here are few tips to consider, just in case someone missed something, here are few things –
- First, politely decline without opening the door. If in case, you open the door, step outside and talk. If you see them face to face, politely decline with a smile that you may not be interested at this time.
- Complaint to HOA or Local Security Service. Don’t compliant to solicitors or vendors that they are not allowed in the community. You do have a right to complaint to Local Security or HOA or if thresholds are crossed, to local law enforcement authority. Despite, be very polite and decline. HOA or Local Security can display signs if vendors are not allowed in your community.
- Neighborhood Watch – The idea is old but using latest messaging apps is new. Communicate with neighbors (before or after an interaction). We have a WA (What’sUp) group in our community where we share messages. Don’t be isolated – Connect as a community, Develop Collective norms, Deter & Deny as a community and when required, Report.
Messaging groups are very effective and fast but there is a downside to messaging groups, build your own community norms to serve your community. Florida International University researchers found the following statistics within the combined 11 neighborhoods. Burglaries decreased 33 percent; Robberies decreased 24 percent and Thefts decreased 9 percent. If possible, display Neighborhood Watch using WA under use.
- Install Security Cameras (& motion sensor lights). Security cameras (on the perimeter) and motion sensor lights are cheap and easy to install. Ensure that the data is backed up on cloud. Install cameras in location from where they can capture face and morphology in different steps. Either have night vision on the cameras or adequate lighting to capture images. PTZ cameras with Digital Recorders are best. My experience has been very satisfactory using those as deterrence. This is in line with Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) to reduce crime. Installing community perimeter security cameras with PTZ and cloud backed up capabilities are best. Cameras and Lights should be away from vandalism and destruction.
- Record DL and Company Id. Every home owner should insist on DL of the person working within their home and or community. While most offer a company ID, we hardly track and trace if those are authentic and valid. Keeping a record of DL should provide long term deterrence from intrusion or crime. Often, these vendors or ‘House Cleaners’, most are good but we cannot discern the bad, they may be indirectly doing a surveillance and reporting into their ecosystem. If DL or address is maintained, they are likely to be traced or tracked. Knowing that you maintain a DL on them, should help in building more deterrence.
One thing is certain – if you see a vendor or someone soliciting, don’t be arrogant, decline politely. Why?
- They are trying to make a living
- You may be targeted, especially if you are rude or impolite
In these changing political environment and circumstances, our success as immigrants may be a red sore in the eyes of few nativists. Let us not get targeted. Let them think this is a nice community.
Again, I am not proposing we need to buy, I am not saying, we shouldn’t report. All I am saying is BE POLITE, ESPECIALLY WHILE DECLINING SERVICES OR VENDORS.
Selected links –
GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC VIDEO SURVEILLANCE: A guide to protecting communities and preserving civil liberties guidelines-for-public-video-surveillance
An example of Camera Policies from University of Wisconsin at Green Bay camera-policies-from-university-of-wisconsin
Code of practice: A guide to the 12 principles (This does not apply to US scenario but it offers good understanding of issues to consider)
Camera Types from Brick House Security (Offers an understanding of different types of cameras)