Better Locks = Less Crime

Manhattan has an overall crime rate that is slightly higher than the national average for other major cities. On an annualized basis this means that you have a 1 in 173 chance of becoming a victim of a criminal act in Manhattan. However, your chances of becoming a victim of a property crime in the Manhattan area of New York City are only 1 in 53!

Interestingly, the number of crimes per square mile in Manhattan is an astounding 1807 crimes on average. It is true that Manhattan’s violent crime rates are at or below the national average for similar sized cities in some categories… however, the non-violent criminal acts that primarily focus on property crimes have been trending upwards. In fact, the Larceny Rate in Manhattan is trending slightly higher than the national average.
While 2016 saw a slight uptick in certain crimes, NYPD decided to target the category’s of criminal activity that was on an upward trajectory with more aggressive policing. This included a larger presence on the street during certain hours, more community policing postures and a more strident effort to educate Manhattan residents about how to keep themselves safer.
When it came to the educational side of law enforcements efforts, the police department focused on extolling the following concepts to the general public:
Upgrading their door and accessible window security.This included installing more effective and better quality locks and deadbolts.Being more aware of their surroundings.Remaining more observant in general when they are “out and about,” in the city.Encouraging Manhattan residents to call 911 if any activity looks suspicious to them that are taking place around a neighbor’s home or apartment.Neighborhood reporting of suspicious activity was an important part of that effort.
Violent Crime Down…..Property Crime Up
The NYPD Crime Statistics report also revealed data collected from other sources indicates that housing related crimes were seeing an uptick in frequency during the 2016 year. These housing related criminal acts included what is classified as “home invasion,” type of forced entries as well as strong-arm related robberies that take place in hallways, stairwells and elevators.
In 2016, the violent crime categories began to recede and were then replaced somewhat by Property Crime Risk, Burglary Risk, Larceny Risk and Auto Theft. Again, it appears as though many efforts to reduce all types of crime creates a “whack-a-mole,” effect of tamping down one type of crime resulting in a spike of other types of crime.
As City resources are focused on certain criminal behaviors, they are unfortunately re-tasked from one criminal act category to another. This usually means an increase in the areas of criminal activity that are no longer prioritized. This is simply a case of having to reallocate resources based on need. No doubt, the Officers of the NYPD would prefer to be everywhere as needed, but, there are just not enough of them.
What You Can Do…..
Interestingly, it is recognized nationwide that most unauthorized residential entries are due to doors or windows being left unlocked! For that reason, it is important to remember that the best locks in the world will only work…..if you remember to use them.
Even if you remember to lock your doors, you are not necessarily immune to a forced entry. One of the most prevalent ways to defeat open cylinder locks and deadbolt locks is by using a specially designed key called a “bump key,” or a “999/rapping key.” This technique is highly effective and allows a large variety of locks to be opened in as little as 10 seconds!
According to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and the Department of Justice, nearly 2/3 of all break-ins occur with no sign of forced entry. While unlocked doors are the number one way illegal entry is gained…..lock bumping is a close second.
Things That Go Bump in the Night!
How can you minimize the chances of a criminal successfully “bumping” your lock? Well, there are a few things you can do to help protect yourself.
Identify if your lock is susceptible to lock bumping.If you bought your locks from a large retailer like Home Depot or Lowe’s, then it is most likely vulnerable to this security breach.This is because mass-produced locks are mostly “keyed-alike,” or at best…share the same key profiles.This makes buying/making a bump key for these locks easy!Choose locks such as Medeco, Schlage, Miwa, Assa and Kaba as all of these lock brands have created their own version of bump-resistant or bump-proof locks.Choose high-security cylinders with a UL 437 or equivalent rating which means they are harder to pick or manipulate.Have a certified locksmith modify your current locks to increase their resistance to lock-bumping.Install non-tumbler locks such as rotating disk locks or magnetic/electronic locks through a certified locksmith.
Home security must be “layered” to be effective. Think of it as a chain around your home or apartment. That chain is only as strong as your weakest link. When you hear strange noises coming from your dishwasher or washing machine…..you call an appliance repair expert. When you hear things that “go bump in the night,” around your doors……call an experienced, certified locksmith.
Remember, you can call us at Empire City Locksmiths after a forced entry to repair or replace the weak links in your chain…..or you can contact us before such a violation occurs to ensure the safety of your property and your family. Trust us when we tell you…..it is always cheaper to call us before you are the victim of a crime.

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