Landscaping choices can be crime prevention tools

Published: Mar. 2, 2015 at 5:09 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 12, 2015 at 7:44 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Police say how you landscape your yard could help prevent crime.

You can use hedges to separate your yard from a public area, or another yard. Bushes can be a barrier, both physically and psychologically. Also, use a vine or ground covering like ivy to signal where you do and don't want traffic.

"If you have ivy, it kind of leads people along the pathway to your house," said Cpl. Scott Gordon, Chesterfield Police Department. "If you're walking between the ivy, you know they're coming to your house because they're welcome or they're invited or they have an appointment. If they cross that ivy and go into the backyard, you know there's something going on and why are they in your yard?"

Police say those boundaries also help others see when something is suspicious, or people are out of place.

One tip a lot of people hear is that you should have prickly bushes near your windows. It keeps the bad guys from getting too close. But here's something else to keep in mind with those bushes: if they're big and overgrown near the window, it's easy for someone to hide and maybe do something they shouldn't, or get too close to your house. That's why police say to really trim these bushes down. It keeps the bad people away but it also makes it easier for you to see out that window.

"What you're trying to do is take care of your home and what criminals look for is an easy opportunity so you want to make it less opportunity," said Gordon.

They're easy choices that could help give you some piece of mind as well.

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