Security is rarely a popular subject from the organizational perspective. Because it is typically a cost item, with little immediate return on investment and has a potential impact on liability, security can make people uncomfortable. Often, only an unfortunate event forces them to evaluate security. Police have long been criticized for being reactive, but the truth is that the some segments of the private sector are not very proactive either. With some exceptions, people prefer the pound of cure later rather than the ounce of prevention now.
In reality, crime can never be eliminated; however, it can be reduced, and that is the real goal of crime prevention. Sometimes it is possible to reduce crime by simple “target hardening” measures. Basic locks, lights, and alarms are measures that we tend to take for granted, but can go a long way toward reducing crime. If specially trained individuals with an eye toward prevention are involved in the design of buildings, these simple measures can be even more effective. These same individuals can help reduce crime at existing facilities through comprehensive security risk assessments and mitigation strategies that may include changes to existing security measures or the implementation of new ones. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, these need not always be expensive.
Sometimes the goal of reducing crime cannot be achieved so easily, and it might cost a little more. Even so, what is the cost of not doing it? Crime prevention is usually less costly than letting crime occur. A risk assessment is the first step toward preventing some incidents and thereby reducing overall crime.
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