Crime Deterrence

There are two major categories within the area of crime deterrent patrol: Anti-crime and Trespassing. While they may seem to be the same subject, there are significant differences in how they are handled.


Anti-crime focuses on the issue of crime against property and people: burglary, vehicle theft and break-in, and petty theft are the usual issues, but violent crimes can also be an occasional issue. Prevention and reduction of these crimes is accomplished through high-visibility, random patrol. A patrol that is noticeable, frequent and unpredictable creates an environment that is unwelcoming to these types of crime. A would-be perpetrator is much less likely to commit their violation when they might encounter a security officer during their act. The goal of crime deterrence is NOT to apprehend the perpetrator, it is to discourage them from committing it on or against the client’s property.


Trespassers usually have one of the three following goals:

  • Shortcut – this type of trespasser is usually looking for a quicker, shorter route to their destination. While this type of trespassing typically does not cause any harm, there is still a potential for problems. Some may also be looking for opportunities to commit small thefts, some may interfere with authorized traffic on the property thereby creating liability, or just interfering with normal business.

  • Shelter – this type of trespasser (typically referred to as homeless or unhoused) is looking for a place to stay (either permanently or for the duration of their chosen activity) that is less exposed to the elements. This has the potential to cause confrontations with those that encroach on the person’s perception of “their space” as well as to create unwelcome encounters as the person looks for contributions to their lifestyle. Additionally, those that pick your property for their permanent location will often create a mess with any items for which they no longer have a use and sometimes even with their own waste.

  • Prowler – this type of trespasser is looking for opportunities to commit crimes. Usually these crimes are restricted to the level of petty theft or auto burglary, but on occasion they can rise to the levels of burglaries of structures or crimes against persons (violent crimes). When encountered the trespassers usually claim to be the shortcut type of trespasser. This can also include unhoused (homeless) people.

The first step for a patrol company is to evaluate the problem through an on-site survey followed up with obtaining all relevant history regarding the problem. Only then can a comprehensive plan be formulated to remediate the issue.

If this is a situation involving the homeless, it is important to remember that being unhoused is part of a larger social issue of which security is a very small part of the overall solution. While we cannot single-handedly resolve this problem, after requiring the person to remove themselves and their belongings from your property, we also provide them information regarding various ministries and agencies that can attempt to assist them in returning to a more productive lifestyle.