1-FBT_Lo-Res_Light-Edit-69Across the nation businesses are getting state and federal money to improve their businesses to minimize the risk of workplace crime and violence.

The Soteria Group was founded on the principal of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED). Our approach addresses human behavior as impacted by the physical environment. Environmental design through infrastructure and landscape architecture encompasses the use, design and/or removal of objects for the purpose of creating a landscape which can provide or restrict movement or visibility.

Now various local, state and federal sources are providing funding and assistance for such programs. Here’s just a sampling:

  • In Fort Myers, Florida a local CPTED  program has started to help residents prevent crime before it happens.  As part of this program police officers come to your business, home, apartment building, or complex for free. There they’ll do a survey on the property, and look at areas that can improve your safety.
  • In South Carolina, Orangeburg-area apartment complexes met with police last month to discuss the possible implementation of a safety plan to reduce crime in the Garden City.  Among the design recommendations mentioned:
    • One of the easiest recommendations for a safer neighborhood that any apartment complex can implement is mounting easily seen security cameras at face level.
    • Shrubs should be no higher than three feet while trees shouldn’t have limbs lower than seven feet. That takes away potential hiding places for burglars or even a robber.
    • Even the type of shrub can be a deterrent. The use of cactus or holly bushes beneath windows can discourage intruders.
    • Fencing should be see-through to encourage interaction between neighbors and allow residents a chance at surveillance.
  • In New York, Onondaga County law enforcement to share $1.2 million state grant to fight gun violence. The funding will go toward hot-spots policing, focused deterrence and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Other counties including Utica and Oneida County agencies are sharing a state grant of more than $500,000 to target locations and perpetrators of crime. The grant is among $13.3 million going to agencies in counties that together report 87 percent of the state’s violent crime outside New York City.
  • In Tennesse, Knoxville police offer free home security audits to prevent crime, Officers will perform security surveys, free of charge, to residential and commercial properties.
  • In Kansas, police urge business owners to take steps toward preventing burglaries
    • Upgrade external security. This includes strengthening locks, reinforcing doors and windows and installing security cameras or security lighting at entry points.
    • Install burglar alarms.
    • Safeguard cash and valuable stock. This includes removing high-value goods from window displays, concealing goods, using safes for valuable items and leaving empty cash registers open at night to prevent them from being broken into.
    • Lock escape routes.
    • Train staff to operate security cameras and keep watch for suspicious activity.

1-FBT_Lo-Res_Light-Edit-28While we think that everyone should avail themselves of free resources such as an assessment by local police, we have found that this is usually only good as a starting point. Local police have lots of knowledge about crime prevention but most are not trained in the principles of environmental design.

Most workplaces needs more than bullet points, they need a detailed plan that customized  to how their office functions. Most workplaces need specific equipment recommendations. All workplaces need to create detailed workplace violence manuals and conduct staff training. If you’re trying to prevent school violence, you also have to train parents, volunteers, non-teaching staff as well as the students themselves how to handle a crisis before it happens.

This is the Soteria Group’s mission. This is the reason we started this business in the first place. We want ALL New Mexico workplaces to be free from violence. We offer a free workplace vulnerability assessment tool to get you started. Depending on your type of workplace, you might be  eligible for local, state or federal funding to help finance your security upgrades. Give us a call toll free: 844-295-5091.