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Crime Prevention Tips

Outside of Takes Variety Store, a sign posted on the window reads: “FREE Ride in a Police Car if you shoplift.” This sign is one of many examples of how small business owners can aid the Maui Police Department in preventing crime, according to the American Crime Prevention Institute.

With limited police resources on the island, the Maui Police Department is calling upon the community for communication and assistance in response to increasing questions concerning recent crimes on Molokai.

“We cannot solve all the problems on our own so we want to develop a partnership with the community,” said Detective Eugene Santiago.

The American Crime Prevention Institute has developed principles dubbed “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” which is based upon the belief that crime can be directly related to the design of the space in which it occurs. Detective Santiago and community police officer Lonnie Kaai shared with residents and small business owners at an informational presentation last week at the UH Maui College, Molokai.

These tips include:

1. Natural Surveillance by not only police officers, but members of the community thereby increasing visibility and reducing the threat of crime.
Examples: Make sure outdoor lights are working, put up see-through fences and keep hedges trimmed for maximum visibility, install video cameras (real or fake), make sure posters/signs on shop windows only cover 15 percent visibility

2. Natural Access Control limits the opportunity for crime by taking steps to clearly differentiate between public space and private space.
Examples: Designate areas that are off limits to visitors, highlight main entrances to buildings, clearly mark public walkways and paths, use signage for visitors, have a single, clearly identifiable point of building entry

3. Territorial Reinforcement refers to strategies that define property lines and distinguish between private and public space.
Examples: Landscape planting, pavement designs, gateway treatments, appropriate signage

4. Maintenance enables continual use of space for its intended purpose and up keeping areas so they do not appear neglected or abandoned.
Examples: Remove graffiti or repair broken windows ideally within a 24-hour period, keep buildings and walkways clear and unobstructed, remove faded or outdated posters and signs, keep grass and weeds cut.

For more information, please contact Officer Lonnie Kaai at 553-5355.


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