Audits offer apartment security
Fighting crime can bring a sense of community to residents living in apartments.
Free crime reduction audits for multi-family units are available through the RCMP Safe Communities Unit.
“We provide security assessments of a complex,” said Regan Borisenko, crime prevention co-ordinator responsible for Block Watch.
“We can help them have a safer place to live.”
Among the issues that are considered is exterior lighting and trimming trees to improve visibility and decrease hiding places.
“Building a community was a big thing,” said Teri Green, manager of the Urban Point Condominiums, who asked for an audit late last year.
“At Christmas, we had a get-together and since then, we have had a few other things to bring people together. They’re invested in where they live.”
Security was a major concern at the strata prior to the audit.
Now, she says tenants feel safer and they are taking extra steps like picking up litter.
“We’ve made great strides. People are so proud of where they live.”
While a security system cost about $1,000, crime reduction doesn’t have to be a big ticket item.
“A lot of it was labour — cutting trees and keeping the place tidy,” said Green.
“What we have done has increased the value of the building.”
Every tenant at the development must also sign an agreement not to promote illegal activity.
“We haven’t had to use it a lot but it has deterred some people from coming to the building,” said Green.
The Safe Communities Unit recommends apartment managers become familiar with www.rto.gov.ca and the Residential Tenancy Act, the Strata Property Act, the Occupiers Liability Act and local bylaws.
Training for building and apartment managers will be held July 26 and those wanting more information can call 250-550-7847 or go to www.vernon.ca/public_safety/community_policing/doc/Crime_free.pdf.