These are the fences criminals prefer Print E-mail
News - Rubrieke
Monday, 18 August 2008 06:57
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Breytie Breytenbach

Razor wire fences are more effective in stopping criminals than electrified fences. That is what researchers have found out from convicted housebreakers. A thief does not want to get hurt. Razor wire is difficult to deal with because of the very sharp razors. The researcher in this case is Dr Rudolph Zinn, senior lecturer at Unisa. He interviewed a number of convicts for the sake of acquiring crime intelligence.

I am told that razor wire cannot be cut unless one uses a grinder or other specialised equipment. Even then one will have to wear good quality leather gloves. However, not all people in the security field agree with this finding. Schalk Burger of EHL Security Solutions in Faerie Glen said that one cannot rate a razor wire fence better then an electric one because both have disadvantages.

His experience is that a combination of more than one kind of obstacle works best to keep robbers away from your house. One such combination I have heard about is placing razor wire directly behind a precast wall. Apparently it is easy to break a slab or two in a section of such a wall. Razor wire on the other side will form an unpleasant surprise for the intruder. Another combination is a wall with electric fencing on top, or razor wire.

Eugene Strydom of Community Patrols sited an example where a concrete slab at the bottom of an electric fence prevents digging a hole to crawl through. He added that the effectiveness of electrified fences very much depends on the quality of the installation work and of the maintenance. It is something that has to be inspected regularly. Such a fence without an alarm is not highly effective. The alarm alerts you when someone fiddles with the fence.

Schalk agreed with what the Boschkop Police commissioner said at the last CPF public meeting - a seethrough fence is better than a solid wall. A palissade fence is a case in point. However, palissades can be cut or forced open. Again it depends on the quality of material and workmanship.

The fact is that criminals don’t want to be observed and feel safer jumping a wall. So, how safe is it really inside a security complex where solid walls seem to be pretty much the norm?

The determined criminal will probably not be stopped by any fence. However, an effective fence can give you time to contact somebody for help. The deal situation is to have a way of being informed when the criminal tries to enter. The positioning of lights is important. You don’t need a light at your door where the thief can see you coming out of the house. You need a light that floods the fence.

However, some people believe that a light at the door is better because a criminal will not try to get in through that door. Others are convinced one should have no lights so that criminals cannot watch your movements or the whereabouts of your dogs.

At the end we have more questions than answers. But lives are at stake and we will have to find a decent answer. Personal experience is most valuable. This is a topic we can discuss on our community forum on The Bronberger’s website at . If you can share your experience and some real answers about fences, you will help others a great deal. For more information, contact Breytie Breytenbach at 012-802-1532.

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