The Limburg project - How to keep uninvited guests away

Because of a) the steep rise in burglaries in the Province of Limburg in recent years, b) the realisation that many citizens take inadequate or insufficient measures to prevent burglaries, c) often the lack of social contacts between neighbours in residential areas, and d) the lack of techno-prevention and social security in architects’ training, the Provincial Commission for Criminality Prevention launched the campaign “How to keep uninvited guests away”.

This is a campaign coordinated at the provincial level tackling the subject of burglary prevention and social security in an integral and integrated manner. The campaign strongly emphasises the stimulation of a sound social control in residential areas and secure planning with a view to prevent burglaries in dwellings and other buildings, and social security in public spaces. The provincial authorities therefore closely collaborate with local police and prevention services, neighbourhood committees, architects, locksmiths, carpenters and joiners as well as other experts in the field.

An overview of some of the most outstanding elements of the campaign:

  • Stimulating a sound social control and good contacts between neighbours by spreading the message “Stop! The neighbourhood is alert” in an original manner and filling in a form for neighbourhood surveillance.
  • Organising anti-burglary sessions, calling on a provincial pool of qualified speakers free of charge.
  • Offering a highly visible provincial burglary prevention stand.
  • Providing accessible and strong visual information material explaining the often technical subject matter of burglary prevention in the simplest terms possible.
  • Offering mandatory courses in techno-prevention for architects’ training, thereby hopefully encouraging the long-term integration of basic principles of burglary prevention and social security in the concept and home planning.

 

Results
Although the campaign only started half a year before this evaluation, there are already some striking results:

  • During the first 6 months of 2008, burglaries in the Province of Limburg fell by 12% as compared to the same period in 2007.
  • The Limburg high-school for architects has finally recognised the need to provide 4 mandatory lessons in techno-prevention and social security … an important first step.
  • The number of requests for burglary-prevention advice has increased by approximately 20% on average according to estimates since the campaign started.
  • Due to the existence of the provincial pool of qualified speakers, info sessions are now also organised in communes and police zones where none took place before.
  • 2 communes which had no active techno-prevention advisor before decided to train a staff member due to the increased demand of their residents.

 

The project started in 2008 and is now finished.
Last review: October 2015