Buncombe County News Other Swannanoa News

Keep Swannanoa Safe: Crime Prevention Tips from the Sheriff’s Office

The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit is reporting that the most significant crime problem in our area continues to be breaking and entering, and larceny from motor vehicles. In approximately 50% of the cases, the vehicles are unlocked and valuables are simply taken. There are also cases of handguns being stolen from vehicles, which results in weapons in the hands of a criminal. The Crime Prevention Unit is urging citizens to not leave valuables in their vehicles and to keep them locked.

One of the new resources available to neighborhoods and communities in Swannanoa and surrounding areas is access to a nationally certified officer trained in Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). CPTED theories contend that law enforcement officers, architects, city planners, landscape and interior designers, and resident volunteers can create a climate of safety in a community. CPTED‘s goal is to prevent crime by designing a physical environment that positively influences human behavior. The theory is based on four principles: natural access control, natural surveillance, territoriality, and maintenance. Contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 250-4427 for more information about how these principles could be put to use in your neighborhood or community.

One of the most significant and effective crime prevention measures continues to be a well-formed Community Watch program. Call the Crime Prevention Unit (250-4427) for help in starting a Community Watch in your neighborhood. There are several Community Watch programs already up and running in the Swannanoa area, including one in Grovemont. If you live in Grovemont and would like more information about this program, or would like to get involved, contact Community Watch organizers Allen Dunlap at 686-3321, or Bob Anderson at 686-3662.

To stay up-to-date on crime prevention news, visit “The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit” on Facebook.

Buncombe County Crime Prevention groupAbove photo: Sheriff Van Duncan, Deputy Mike Dixon, Deputy Larry Pierson and McGruff the Crime Dog pose with students and staff from Warren Wilson College at the August 4 Groovin’ on Grovemont, in conjunction with “National Night Out” (a national crime prevention program).