Thursday, January 19, 2017

Phases of a crime 2/3

In our last discussion, we looked briefly at the conventional phases of a crime. For our next discussion we're going to examine a more comprehensive tool. These were garnered from the Department of Defense's (DOD) Guide to Terrorism in the 21st Century. The Guide to terrorism, accessible here; the guide identifies 7 steps, which we will be adapting to meet our focus on protecting yourself and your home.  Over the next few posts we're going to be discussing each step, how it impacts home security, and ultimately what we can do to help protect our homes and loved one. For this discussion we'll be covering a brief overview and first 3 steps of our 7 step model. 


The 7 steps are:

Our Phases of a Criminal Act
1. Establishment of Intent
2. Recon and Broad Target Selection
3. Specific Target Selection
4. Planning and Surveillance
5. Execution (break-in)
6. Execution (Commission of the crime)
7. Escape and Evasion

So, this all sounds great, but what does it mean to a homeowner? Let's break it down into more manageable bites.

Step 1. Establishment of Intent. This step is nearly identical to those we discussed in part one of our discussion on "Phases of a Crime." As a homeowner, there's only so much you can do to eliminate the intent. You can't change the potential criminal's need for money, drugs, or property. You can, however, work with your local community law enforcement entities to help increase community-level policing; you can work with neighbors and your city, town, or community to establish a neighborhood watch program (We'll be discussing them in more depth as well), and you can increase your vigilance in reporting unusual activity in and around your community. Word will travel fast that you're a secure neighborhood, which in turn could make criminals question their intentions in that specific area. You can help keep other families safe and prevent criminals from ruining their lives just by working to increase your community’s security posture.

Step 2. Reconnaissance and Broad Target Selection. It's at this phase that a would-be criminal starts to look at where they intend to target. If we assume they're looking for goods, jewelry and/or cash, they have a wide set of options. They'll be looking at convenience stores, bank, gas station, liquor store, small retail outlets or a home. The unique thing about a home is the potential to gain everything they're looking for: cash, goods, jewelry, and even vehicles.... Homes also have a reduced risk of high-tech security and preparedness for a criminal act. In lay terms, this means homes are a great target of opportunity. Most stores today have entire teams dedicated toward loss prevention and advanced-camera systems to detect and counter theft.  Even with advancements in technology and reduction in costs, most homeowners still do not have home security systems. In some of our upcoming posts we'll discuss a number of ways to help your community minimize the risk of being a target of opportunity. You can also reach out to Omega Six Security about free community events in your neighborhood. Shoot us an email and a representative would be happy to assist. 

Step 3. Specific Target Selection. At this phase, our would-be criminals are starting to narrow their scope to identify exactly what home, store, gas station or other location they intend to target. We'll assume they don't want to take the risk of going after a store, due to security. They're looking at homes. With that decision finalized, they're now looking for neighborhoods and specific homes (maybe a couple to have a fall back should something go wrong).  They're going to be looking hard at specific neighborhoods and, dependent upon their aversion to risk, experience, and intentions; they could narrow it down to a few homes within a specific neighborhood. Criminal acts range from targeting 1-2 homes, to organized groups that target 6-7 homes in one string of break-ins. Think 1990's classic holiday movie Home Alone. It's at this phase where we want to ensure our home looks and gives off the impression of safety. We want to make the home as formidable as possible. To read about some of the steps we recommend see Steps to Securing Your Home.

We’ll discuss the final 4 phases in another post, and examine a few things homeowners can do to prevent becoming a target, along with suggestions for steps to take if they've become a victim. 

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The information contained herein is intended as informational and the opinion of Omega Six Security. We take great measure to ensure we're providing the best available information possible. But, it is just that, information. Readers must acknowledge that you are the first and last defense in any situation that could arise. Proper education, research, training, and maintaining good situational awareness will always help. We, at Omega Six Security, want to do all we can to assist in educating our members and readers alike. However, we always, recommend you reach out to local law enforcement, legal representatives and other subject matter experts to better understand your rights and responsibilities based on your individual circumstances. The information herein is for informational purposes only and does not constitute any form of counsel, legal or otherwise. Readers acknowledge and hold harmless Omega Six Security, LLC and the author and accept sole responsibility for any actions taken based on implementation of any information herein.