Over 10 million Americans live behind gates created to wrap their communities in a security blanket—using a code, a key, or waving to your friendly community gate guard to enter their neighborhood. But are gated communities actually safer? Or do gates have the opposite result: serving as a status emblem that lures thieves persuaded the houses have more costly items to loot?
Created on the promise of a safer community, the number of gated neighborhoods in the U.S. has exploded since the late 80s, particularly in Sunbelt states. But despite their growing attraction, crime and neighborhood scholars are surprisingly quiet on gated community safety—and the consequences of the few existing studies are diverse.
Working gates can decrease unauthorized automobile and foot traffic on a property, particularly late at night and early in the morning. In theory, traffic decline may lower parking lot, driveway, and street crimes. Gates may also help discourage criminals afraid of being trapped if they are found. But gates alone aren't sufficient to stop property crimes. Here's why:
Individuals pay a premium to reside in communities with gates, and the gates make a significant statement. They proclaim, "this neighborhood has money,"—and ambitious thieves may see the area as a lucrative mark. Not only are they more likely to get a rewarding haul, but thieves comprehend that individuals with more capital tend to go out more frequently and take more holidays, leaving their houses unprotected.
Convicts generally avoid houses with visible home security systems, nonetheless. According to a study funded by the Alarm Industry Research & Educational Foundation (AIREF), burglars are much more likely to target houses without security systems. But many renters or homeowners who are soothed into a false sense of safety don't establish security systems.
Some gates provide more for aesthetics than safety. Relentless thieves can climb walls, cross berms, or push through a hedge line. Some offenders are even bold enough to walk right past a guard shack.
Unauthorized automobiles can get past some unmanned gates by tailgating the individual before them, slipping inside before it shuts. Gates might also fail or break and are left open until repaired. Lax gate guards might permit automobiles without reviewing their credentials. Residents can place their passcodes in the incorrect hands, and individuals hired to labor in the neighborhood, like construction teams, delivery people, or landscapers, can mask bad intentions. It's not uncommon for a local pizza parlor to keep a gated community's entry code scribbled on a post-it note on their wall!
Gate entry is porous. Many circumstances exist where the exterior security planned to secure a neighborhood may fail, leaving houses vulnerable to criminality.
Law-abiding residents may not be the only ones living or working in nice neighborhoods. Burglars and other offenders may well call gated communities home—making it simple to learn people's routines and case the site for the most suitable targets. And, as noted, service providers within these neighborhoods could case residences for others or engage in crimes themselves.
We hope this helps you understand the risks and benefits of gated communities. Contact us today to learn more about our security gate software to keep your community safe.
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