(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of articles about property crime in Great Bend and the steps that are being taken to address it.)
As the Great Bend City Council discussed concerns about local property crime Monday night, they were told that one way to combat the problem is with better security for local property.
That’s good advice, according to the National Crime Prevention Council.
The local and national experts stress the importance of the “three Ls” locks, lights and looks.
Keeping neighborhoods safe involves making sure property is as secure as possible, that areas around residences are well lit, and that neighbors are keeping a watch on the area, and reporting anything suspicious by calling 911.
According to information from the NCPC, effective locks are an important deterrent, if they are in place and are routinely used.
Crooks prefer an easy touch, and a good lock is a good deterrent.
It’s important, NCPC information notes, to make sure that:
• All doors are locked at night and every time we leave the house — even if it’s just for a few minutes.
• Doors are solid hardwood or metal-clad.
• Doors feature wide-angle peepholes at heights everyone can use.
• If there are glass panels in or near our doors, they are reinforced in some way so that they cannot be shattered.
• All entry ways have a working, keyed entry lock and sturdy deadbolt lock installed into the frame of the door.
• Spare keys are kept with a trusted neighbor, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge, or in the mailbox.
Garage door safety include making sure:
• The door leading from the attached garage to the house is solid wood or metal-clad and protected with a quality keyed door lock and deadbolt.
• The overhead garage door has a lock so that we do not rely solely on the automatic door opener to provide security.
• Garage doors are all locked when leaving the house.
• Sliding glass door have strong, working key locks.
• A dowel or a pin to secure a glass door has been installed to prevent the door from being shoved aside or lifted off the track.
• The sliding door is locked every night and each time we leave the house.
Local police are ready to help residents make themselves safer, the council was told.
GBPD Lt. Scott Harper has worked with Neighborhood Watch programs around Great Bend for years, but he acknowledged that in recent years there has been less activity with those groups.
He told the council Monday night that he is dedicated to making sure that the program is reactivated and residents know how to report suspicious activity.
Anyone interested in developing a Neighborhood Watch program can contact Harper, 793-4120.