Enhance Efforts to Curb Trespassing
You not only have the right to keep trespassers off your property, you have a responsibility to do so as well. Unfortunately, many site managers are reluctant to speak to a trespasser because they don't have the skills for effective communication or don't know how to interact with potentially difficult people, says security consultant Chris McGoey. There are many training and skill development courses that can help, he advises.
McGoey also recommends participating in any anticrime campaigns or initiatives in your local community. You might consider having one of your staff members attend information or training sessions, as well as encouraging residents to get involved.
“And if you have an ongoing problem with a chronic trespasser, be sure to give the person's name and description to the police,” McGoey adds.
Remember, the HUD model lease contains language that can help you enforce a no-trespassing policy. In addition to posting no-trespassing signs and including their no-trespassing policy in their printed materials, some sites develop a written notice of trespass that they give to offenders and to associated residents. It's a way to document what has been conveyed orally and could come in handy if legal action becomes necessary. For our Model Letter: Give Trespasser Written Warning, see “Adopt No-Trespassing Policy to Boost Site Security,” in the May 2009 issue of the Insider, and available on our Web site at www.assistedhousinginsider.com.
Chris E. McGoey, CPP, CSP, CAM: McGoey Security Consulting, Los Angeles, CA; (951) 461-1136; ChrisMcGoey@CrimeDoctor.com.