Think like a criminal to make your home less of a target

On Tuesday morning, 13th August 2013, Kieno Kammies, morning host on CapeTalk 567, interviewed Prof. Rudolph Zinn.  Below is what was posted on the CapeTalk website about this interview, as well as a link to the podcast of the interview on the website. It makes interesting reading and listening.

HomeInvasionYesterday we got a call from Abigail who told us about her block of flats in Sea Point, which has a very low wall, and while she has a security gate, she never uses it. She said that she has never been affected by crime in all the years that she’s lived there. Many other callers phoned in, to tell similar stories of how they have escaped being victims of crime, living in homes that have no state of the art security systems installed, and not being targeted by crime.

So what do criminals look for when they decide where to break in? Are high walls and security fencing really a deterrent, or is it better to have an unassuming property that doesn’t attract robbers to the possible riches they perceive to be inside? Prof Rudolph Zinn wrote a book about what robbers are looking for, published in 2010. It’s called “Home Invasion: Robbers Disclose What You Should Know”.

According to Dr Zinn house robbers spend a lot of time, sometimes up to two weeks, monitoring the target’s home and the residents’ movements. 80% of the reformed house robbers interviewed by Dr Zinn used inside information sourced from domestic workers, gardeners and former employees to assist them in committing their crimes. He also says that a high wall or garden that allows for hiding increases your chance of being targeted as he/she will not be as visible from the outside road. Lastly, access points are also significant. A source of public transport about 2 blocks away is ideal.

Guest: Rudolph Zinn
Organisation: University of South Africa
Position: Professor at the Department of Police Science

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One thought on “Think like a criminal to make your home less of a target

  1. Very Interesting thanks – for several years one of my neighbours in GH had a house that opened onto a front garden with no walls. There were no security issues at all. Then they constructed a wall around the whole property and within 3 weeks there was a break in attempt. I often wonder if organised thieves target houses with more security as they assume there will be more to take inside.

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