Annual events such as National Crime Prevention Month and National Night Out have long served as valuable reminders that crime is ever-present, and apartment communities are certainly not immune. With the main drivers of crime in multifamily being drugs, firearms and gangs, property managers must be aware of the problem signs and put a sustainable crime prevention plan into action.
Here are 5 crime prevention tips for multifamily property managers that can help boost retention and promote resident safety.
Make community staff easily identifiable
Property staff including leasing agents and maintenance personnel should carry a picture ID badge at all times to ensure that they are easily identifiable by residents. Additionally, all maintenance personnel should wear the same uniform. In many cases, criminals who use tools and equipment to enter residences are mistaken for maintenance staff if attire isn’t standardized.
Improve security systems
Without an effective community security policy in place, resident retention and resulting damages can become costly. Security tools such as CCTV monitoring, restricted entry systems, and electronic key control systems can make a world of difference. If you already have security systems in place, make sure they are in working order and provide community-wide coverage. Additionally, give perpetrators nowhere to hide by ensuring public walkways and parking areas are well lit.
Screen potential residents and employees
If individuals with an extensive criminal record are denied access to your community from the get-go, the likelihood of criminal activity occurring in the future is significantly reduced. Screening residents and employees can also provide current and future residents with peace of mind knowing they live in a community that values safety.
Educate your residents
Your community can be a powerful ally against crime if enabled. Remind residents to keep doors and windows locked and to report any suspicious activity. Establishing a designated email address or telephone number for community crime tips can help in streamlining the process.
Partner with local law enforcement
A partnership with your local police department can be mutually beneficial. As a property manager, you know where the crime is and what problems exist in your community. Using a your insider knowledge, local law enforcement officers can quickly establish a presence and remove wanted individuals from the community. To maintain a crime-free community, multifamily crime prevention programs and local training seminars are also available.