The Best Crime Prevention Tool? Sit…Stay…and Find Out

By: Officer Jeff Kirchman

I recently attended a presentation by crime prevention expert John DiPietro of the Ohio Crime Prevention Association (OCPA). According to DePietro, effective crime prevention can be boiled down to five simple ideas. He calls them The Five D’s of Crime Prevention.

In no particular order:

DENY – Crime is unlikely to happen if the perpetrator can’t get to where they want it to happen. Examples of prevention strategies that DENY include fences, doors, or walls.

DELAY – The longer it takes for the baddies to do their wrongdoing, the less they will want to do it. You can use locks, safes, or hiding techniques to DELAY criminal activity.

DETECT – If there’s a chance of someone being seen in the act (or even if they believe they may be), crime actors will often be more willing to move on to another target. Security cameras, using public places, or staying in groups are good ways to DETECT crime before it occurs.

DETER – Letting it be known that you’ll not be an easy victim helps convince perpetrators to move on in search of easier pickings. DETER them by using easily understood and seen (especially at night) signage or making security measures like security cameras quite obvious.

DEVALUE – A.K.A, ‘The juice ain’t worth the squeeze’. Common DEVALUING advice from UWPD: Spend more on your bicycle lock than you do on your bike.

Many crime prevention tools are really good at one, two, or even three D’s. Locks, for example, DENY and DELAY. Security cameras DETECT and DETER. But there’s one tool, one could argue, that touches on all five.


Their exceptional senses of smell and hearing, along with their natural protective instincts, DETECT. Their barking and flashing of teeth DENY, DELAY, and DETER. And anything protected with a canine friend is very likely DEVALUED in the eyes of the criminal.

It’s no surprise they’re our best friends.

Dog ownership isn’t a solution for everyone. For those whose situation may not be appropriate for a dog, there are plenty of other options above that can help deter crime and keep you and your belongings safe.

For more crime prevention ideas, check out the OCPA at , or the Wisconsin Crime Prevention Practitioners’ Association (WCPPA) at