Monday, October 4, 2010

Tips on Preventing Crime on Church Property

What Can You Do?
Criminals like an easy target. Lessen the likelihood of becoming a theft victim by making it difficult for burglars to obtain you church's valuables. A self-assessment, paired with advice from your local police department, along with the simple tips listed below, may give you the information you need to better protect your property.

Enlist Aid from Others
Play cops and robbers. Pretend you are a thief. Walk around your church, looking for ways you could get into the church and steal valuables. Ask someone unfamiliar with your building to do the same. Note vulnerabilities and patch them.

Befriend the boys in blue. Call your local police or sheriff's department and invite them to tour your ministry buildings. Most crime prevention officers could identify several ways to improve your security—at little or no cost.

Call on neighbors. Consider joining or starting a Neighborhood Watch program. With the whole neighborhood keeping an eye on your property, the likelihood of a property crime is greatly reduced.

Strengthen Security Measures
Lock up the keys. Control access to the church by limiting the number keys you pass out to various ministry leaders. When someone leaves the ministry, make sure that person returns the same key that you gave him or her.

Sound an alarm. A good alarm system offers three lines of defense: Window stickers that alert criminals to its presence, an audible alarm, and a monitoring system that dispatches police.

Keep an eye on the place. Consider placing video cameras at target areas of the property. This defensive move will not only deter potential burglars, but it will aid the law if a burglar does trespass.

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