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Tips to assist with homeless related issues

Put up "No Trespassing" signs

The law is very clear about trespassing. To be trespassing, the act has to occur without the property owner's consent. It also has to be knowing or intentional. A "no trespassing" sign posted on your property eliminates any claim by trespassers that it was unintentional because they did not realize the area was someone's property. It serves as a notice, in fact, that it is your property. Ensure sure that they are clearly posted around the perimeter of your property. Anyone who passes posted signs is clearly trespassing.

Click here to learn more about the City's Limited authorization for arrest/No trespassing program.

Fences and limiting access points

A "one road in and one road out" system will limit the number of access points for trespassers to make their way onto your property. Used alone or in addition to "no trespassing" signs, a fence clearly marks where your property begins, and other property ends. Homeowners have found success in planting living fences. Shrubs and hedges provide a physical boundary while improving the look of your yard. Evergreen shrubs and hedges offer year-round color, and plants with a fast growth rate allow you to grow that living fence quickly. Place gates that are lockable to deny access to individuals you do not want on your property.

Remove reasons for individuals to come onto your property.

Often trespassers enter the property to scavenge. Ensure trash receptacles and dumpsters are locked. Do not leave wood pallets or miscellaneous items outside of commercial or residential structures unsecured. Call for immediate removal by republic services if items were illegally "dumped" on your property. Ensure all vehicles on your property are locked and secured, with no personal or business items left in plain view on the vehicle's interior.

Get to know your neighbors

If you are a new property owner, you will want to meet the property owners next to yours. Even if you have already owned your property for several years, it is still wise to introduce yourself to the neighbors. Friendly neighbors are sure to keep an eye out and will let you know if they see something suspicious. Neighbors watching out for each other will more likely call the police for you in your absence and alert you to issues that may be occurring on your property.

Conduct regular inspections

Be sure to set up a regular schedule of times throughout the year to walk and inspect your property. Your inspection times should be during the day and nighttime hours. Go through your property each time, looking for signs of trespassing. Ensure maintenance contractors are keeping your property free of debris and refuse. Take the opportunity to confirm all security measures remain in place and are functioning.

Lighting

In general, good lighting is a deterrent to trespassing. Many trespassers may be tempted to come onto your property if they cannot be seen, especially at night. This is especially true if they are trespassing with the intent to commit vandalism, theft, or other crimes. If they can be seen, they might think twice about trespassing. Homeowners should install residential security and motion-detecting lights on the exterior of their homes to deter trespassers and criminal activity. Likewise, business owners should utilize security lights on the exterior of their commercial properties and parking lots to prevent trespassing and criminal activity and enhance safety.

Security cameras

Security cameras, especially if they are placed where potential trespassers can see them, also serve as deterrents. In addition, if a trespasser does commit vandalism or theft or is injured in an incident, security cameras will provide footage as evidence of what happened. If the case comes to court, footage obtained on a security camera may be used as evidence. Many professionals offer cost-effective, practical security services, including customized commercial and residential surveillance cameras and security lighting to deter trespassing.

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