High walls don't deter crime

When moving into a new home, one of the first things home owners do is increase the security around the house.

Many go for wall spikes or electric fencing, while also increasing the height of perimeter walls to make it look more imposing, and theoretically, more difficult for burglars to gain entry.

But a researcher at the Durban University of Technology says statistics show that homes with high boundary walls are more likely to be targeted by criminals.

Criminologist Professor Monique Marks also says burglars and house robbers sitting in jail could hold the key to prevention of home invasions.

Marks says high walls around the home are a policing nightmare.

No one can see what is happening in your home so no one can help. When you live in fairly imprisoned space, the sense of fear in itself can delay response which may not be the case if you can see something is happening through a perimeter

Prof. Monique Marks

Her own home has a palisade fence through which she can see the road and be seen.

They have had thefts, washing being stolen off the washing line, the Kreepy Krauly stolen out the swimming pool and a bicycle taken but she says those kind of things will happen in uneven society.

It’s the organised violent crime that needs to be prevented.

It is important to think more about how having high walls affects our psyche and the psyche of people in the street. My concern is also that walls reinforce inequality and divisions.

Prof. Monique Marks

Listen to her interview with John here:

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