Q: I am a business owner and recently had my business broken into. It appears as though the suspect jumped my fence to get onto the property. I was thinking about placing barbed wiring on top on my fence to prevent people from jumping over. Am I allowed to do that and what additional security measures can I take?

A: Unfortunately, per the Santa Monica Municipal Code, section 3.36.240, fences and walls which are made of barbed wire, particularly strand or concertina wire; electrically energized fences or walls; and fences or walls with jagged edges, i.e., materials such as glass, nails or metal placed atop or partially embedded in the structure, are prohibited. However, wooden, stake or picket fences and pointed decorative metal fences are permitted. Depending on the height of your fence, you may want to consider raising it higher, making it harder for someone to jump over it.

If someone is still able to gain access to your property, if you are using a lock or hasp, make sure it does not have a lot of room for someone to place a tool in between to cut it off. There are locks that have minimal room and make it more difficult for someone to cut through.

Security cameras are also a great tool to have. This allows you to see who the suspect is and which means he/she used to get on your property. It is also a deterrent by posting a sign on your property that states that trespassers are being watched by a surveillance camera.

An alarm is also another great tool as it oftentimes scares suspects away and notifies the police. There are many different alarms available depending on your needs. Motion light sensors are another tool to use. Utilizing as many security measures for your business as you can decreases the chances of someone targeting your business.

If you have a business in Santa Monica and are interested in having a security survey conducted on your property, contact SMPD Community Relations at (310) 458-8474 and one will be scheduled.

Community event

Looking for something to do on Tuesday, Aug. 2?

The National Association of Town Watch is having their 28th annual National Night Out here in Santa Monica at the Public Safety Facility, 333 Olympic Dr. This is a nonprofit, crime prevention organization which works in cooperation with thousands of crime watch groups and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. It has been dedicated to the development, growth and maintenance of organized crime and drug prevention programs nationwide.

National Night Out is a community building campaign designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs, and to send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. It’s a great opportunity for the police and community to build partnerships and to educate the public about crime prevention and promote neighborhood camaraderie. National Night Out is a night where everyone can come together and celebrate safety and crime prevention.

The theme is emergency preparedness and several businesses will be selling emergency preparedness kits. Recent events have taught all of us that we need to keep at least seven days of supplies on hand in case of an emergency so we can take care of ourselves and our families until emergency services are available to assist. The seven items that should be a part of your emergency preparedness are: One gallon of water a day per person, nonperishable foods that require no refrigeration or preparation, a basic first aid kit, flashlight and radio with extra batteries, medication including non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, personal hygiene items, and pet supplies.

For those who are not prepared for an emergency situation we encourage you to look at the emergency preparedness kits that will be available for sale. Those with existing emergency preparedness kits this will also be a good opportunity to upgrade or change out some of your inventory.

So make sure you come celebrate “America’s Night Out Against Crime” with free food, music, mini flashlights, and entertainment. Parking is also free in the Civic Center Parking Structure. This will be a giant block party between Fourth Street and Main Street on Olympic Drive. The festivities will commence at 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. This is a great opportunity to bring the family out and meet your local police department and community members. Hope to see you there!

For more information call Community Relations.

This column was prepared by NRO Marilyn Amiache (Beat 2: Lincoln Boulevard to Ocean Front Walk, Interstate 10 to Ozone Avenue). She can be reached at (424) 200-0682 or marilyn.amiache@smgov.net.

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