Universities across Canada are opening their doors for a unique academic year. Some are conducting classes remotely via Zoom; Some are embracing a hybrid model. No matter their choice, university campuses won’t have the usual numbers in attendance. This helps reduce risk of COVID-19 exposure but it also creates an environment in which criminality can flourish.
Most crime that happens in Canada can be classified as a crime of opportunity. Wannabe criminals spot an obvious weakness and take their chances. Keeping a university campus safe involves systematically removing those opportunities, stopping crime before it can happen. This goal can be achieved in several different ways. Here are four tips for a more secure university campus.
Preventing Crime by Environmental Design
Crime prevention by environmental design is a holistic approach to crime prevention. It involves maintaining and manipulating the local environment to create spaces where it’s hard for crimes to happen. This can involve the elimination of easy escape routes, correct usage of lighting, avoidance of blind spots, and tailoring landscaping to avoid seclusion and promote surveillance. It also encompasses something called the “Broken Window Principle.” Under this theory, neglected areas of a property, such as a broken window, invite crime as it highlights lax maintenance and security protocols.
Conduct Security Patrols
Nothing is as effective at deterring criminals as regular security patrols. The good news is, this doesn’t necessitate the hiring of a full-time security team. Blackbird Security offers randomized security patrols that can tailored to the unique needs of a university campus. Our security experts cover pre-determined routes with instant tracking available via our software.
Carry out a Security Audit
There are certain maintenance tasks we’re conditioned to carrying out regularly. We check our fire alarms, we inspect machinery to ensure it’s working, we take our cars to a mechanic for a check-up. For security to be effective at deterring crime, it must become a task that is regularly audited for weaknesses. This audit can encompass everything from physically checking door and window locks, all the way to inspecting the cyber-security infrastructure. Interested in hearing more about security audits? Our Security Experts are standing by to assist.
Remove Targets from Empty Buildings
With reduced footfall on campus this year, many buildings are sitting empty or underused. These buildings represent a significant security risk as they’re likely storing computer hardware, supplies and other juicy targets that be easily re-sold. If buildings aren’t being used, remove any items that seem ripe for theft. Store them in more heavily frequented, central areas of the campus that are difficult to access. While avoiding break-ins entirely is difficult, you can guarantee thieves leave empty handed.