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Protecting the Rear Perimeter of a Troubled Hi-Rise Property with a New Advanced Surveillance Deterrent System

A Case Study

With low income Hi-rise developments, there are typically many security problems, both inside and outside the property. Perhaps one of the most difficult areas to control is that of the rear perimeter of such properties.

This is a brief overview of how one property management company improved perimeter security at a troubled, low income housing complex in an area of high crime, and where there was a history of criminal incidents. These incidents included drive-by shootings, home invasion, assault, theft, and an alleged gang rape.

For security reasons, the name of the particular building and the exact location has been withheld but all other factors are entirely as they happened and reflect accurately the nature and detail of the initial findings of a Vulnerability Assessment (VA), the recommendations for rear perimeter security and the successful implementation of an advanced surveillance deterrent system.

Background Data:

The property comprises a 15 story high rise building built in 1971 comprising some 196 low income residential apartments, and is located in Trenton, New Jersey. The building also includes a basement area that currently houses the laundry area and part of the maintenance area. The basement area and one section of the ground floor exit on to the rear and side of the building.

As will be seen from the photo on the next page, the property stands sideways to the main road and the front entrance shown in the picture is not used as the main entrance. The main entrance for tenants is at the end of the front driveway. The rear area includes a dumpster unit, a children playground, basketball area, and is adjacent to a number of private residences, as well as empty derelict housing.

There is also a parking garage for tenants across from the rear area of the building.

As was already mentioned, the building location is in a high crime area in Trenton, New Jersey. A CAP Index Report (based on FBI crime statistics) included the two diagrams identified as CAP Index A and CAP Index B below.

In the first diagram, the areas shown in RED, or variations of RED indicate high crime sections. The GREEN sections indicate low crime rate areas. Unfortunately, Trenton has one of the highest crime rates in New Jersey. In comparison to the National Crime rate, the area where the property resides has an overall crime rate that is 6.11 times the National rate. CAP Index A also shows types of crime in comparison to the National average. In many cases such as Homicide and Robbery, etc., the CAP Index score is significantly higher than the National average.

Also shown following the CAP Index diagrams are example photos of the rear of the building and adjacent infrastructure providing a grim background picture to the rear perimeter. Prior to implementing the new advanced surveillance deterrent system, the rear area was home to general loitering, tenant children throwing stones and other objects that broke windows in the adjoining private residences, attempted break-ins to the building, the breaking of rear and side windows to the property, and suspected drug dealing.

Following implementation of the new surveillance deterrent system, that is no longer the case.

Download and read the full case study: Hi-Rise Property Advanced Surveillance Deterrent System