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What Do Multifamily Crime Statistics Say?

Posted by Joseph Curd on Apr 23, 2024

A recent multifamily crime survey revealed significant increases in crime last year. The survey added three questions related to crime in multifamily properties.

The short version of the results is that more than 25% reported that crime went up considerably from the previous year. Over half said crime was up from the previous year, but not significantly. Not one single person completing the survey claimed crime went down.

On the survey, property managers ranked their top three safety concerns. The No. 1 concern was car break-ins. Property managers and owners worry about these break-ins as they can lead to liability and vacancy issues. This isn’t surprising considering car-related theft has gone up across the U.S.

The Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ) noted a significant uptick in vehicle-related thefts in 2023 compared to the year before. Specifically, there was a staggering 93% surge in carjackings from 2019 to 2023, with motor vehicle theft incidents rising by 29% between 2022 and 2023, translating into over 50,000 cases.

What was the second concern that followed vehicle break-ins? Close to 20% said the second safety concern was package theft. And finally, the third most pressing issue was trespassing.

How to Avoid Becoming a Multifamily Crime Statistic

What makes protecting multifamily residential properties challenging is that residents keep their own schedules. They come and go. They tend not to know each other. The multifamily property staff may not even know all the faces. Because of this, the residents and staff would most likely not recognize someone who does not belong there. This person could be a trespasser or someone planning a crime.

The right video surveillance systems with remote monitoring can help close that gap. At the same time, it can demonstrate to your residents and employees that you care about their security and safety.

Need more reasons to invest in security cameras with remote monitoring? Check out these top reasons why successful multifamily properties use remote video surveillance.

1. Helps deter crime

Video surveillance with remote monitoring consists of offsite trained monitoring operators who work with video analytics to watch over a multifamily residential property around the clock or whatever the contract stipulates. (Some businesses only monitor at night.) Investing in video analytics with human intelligence is essential to help catch a potential problem before anything happens.

The job of video analytics is to simultaneously scan all the cameras at once. It analyzes the video looking for possible matches to one of its many programmed scenarios. Anytime it finds a match, the system can alert the monitoring operator who checks out the video and responds as needed for the situation. This helps greatly reduce false alarms while boosting the chances of stopping crime in its tracks.

The monitoring operator may use an onsite audio speaker to send a warning to intruders. It doesn’t just deter crime. It can help prevent a tragedy. At one multifamily property, a child climbed the fence outside of the pool. Thanks to the audio speaker, the operator warned the child who promptly climbed down and ran away to safety. Imagine what would have happened if the video cameras did not have monitoring.

Live video monitoring involving video analytics and trained monitoring operators comes with multiple layers of security. For one, the visibility of security cameras can help deter some crimes. More so when a company posts signs indicating the area is under surveillance.

It’s important to have someone watching the cameras even with video cameras and signs. Without monitoring, it could turn into a liability issue. When residents see the cameras, they may think someone is watching the cameras and recording. If a property uses dummy cameras, then it could give a false sense of security. If a crime occurs and no one monitors the cameras, it could lead to a potential lawsuit.

2. Attracts and retains residents

Most residents have one thing they want in a home. They value safety and security. National Apartment Association shows Baby Boomers and Gen X want multifamily residential buildings that have video monitoring and security systems. Many members of the older generations want to downsize or switch to multifamily living to shed the costs and responsibilities of maintaining a home.

As for Gen Y, Schlage and Wakefield research shows that more than 60% of Gen Y want security. Besides, when you reduce turnover, it can increase your net operating income (NOI) because higher resident retention allows you to circumvent the costs associated with turnover.

3. Avoids the need for more security guards

You may have a trained security guard on your multifamily residential property. But they can only watch the area around them. Criminals can easily evade the guard. Adding more guards could exponentially multiply the cost. Besides, security guards sometimes cause more problems than they solve.

A CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting study shows that many new security guards have a criminal history. The report has found these guards have a past of domestic violence, drug and alcohol offenses, or disciplinary problems from previous jobs in law enforcement.

One security guard along with video surveillance could maximize security and safety. The trained monitoring operators don’t work on the property. The monitoring operators can view the entire property including areas not easily accessible to security guards.

Video analytics and monitoring operators may catch a crime before it happens and issue a verbal warning before calling the authorities. This helps deter crime and stops suspects before they cause damage.

4. Increases property value

Some multifamily residential properties working with Stealth Monitoring saw their property values climb after they added live video monitoring. Since most residents prefer homes with security, they’re more likely to stay longer and keep the costs of turnover low. Video surveillance can be an excellent resident retention tool.

Any time a resident moves out, the multifamily residential property spends money to clean up and repaint the empty unit to get it ready for the next resident. The longer you keep a resident, the higher the net operating income (NOI). Because security is visible via cameras, residents can constantly get a reminder they are safe and secure.

5. Provides recorded evidence

If a crime or liability issue pops up, you can have saved video footage of what happened. This is useful for police investigations, insurance investigations, and court proceedings. It helps prevent running into a she-said, he-said situation. Video monitoring systems can record at all times and retain the recordings for a set time. The length depends on the vendor.

6. Deters package theft

Recall the survey referenced earlier in this post lists package theft as one of the top three concerns when it comes to multifamily crime statistics. Proactive remote video surveillance can help reduce the risk of package theft.

A C+R Research survey states that 43% of Americans experienced package theft in 2020. This research included multifamily properties and condos with and without a doorman. Package management can overwhelm many multifamily residential property employees.

Thanks to the pandemic forcing everyone to shop online, more people have continued to do that despite the end of the crisis. A Yahoo! Finance article shows residents received an average of 10 packages per month. During the holiday season, it jumped to 14 packages per resident.

Using these numbers, a multifamily property with 100 residents will receive 1,000 packages per month. This is the equivalent of 33 packages per day. Can the property staff manage that many deliveries each day? Video surveillance with remote monitoring can help take on this load.

Make Your Property Safer with a Video Surveillance System

As previously stated, residents for all generations value safety and security. A security camera with remote monitoring can meet that need while delivering many benefits including potentially increasing the net operating income (NOI) and the value of your property. Stealth has clients who manage housing for low- and moderate-income families. These places have been able to moderately raise the rent after installing video surveillance with remote monitoring.

A multifamily property can stand out from the others with video surveillance because it’s no longer an amenity. It’s a must-have. The remote video surveillance can pay for itself quickly as many Stealth Monitoring clients achieve a ROI within months.

To maximize the video surveillance ROI, Stealth provides system health checks. Technology breaks. A system health check can verify that all the cameras continue to work. If anything isn’t working, the health check can help catch problems early.

How can multifamily residential property managers find the right security partner who will help them avoid becoming a multifamily crime statistic? Use this video surveillance safety checklist. It lists the things to consider when it comes to video surveillance and remote monitoring. It can help simplify the shopping process. It’s also important to understand that two apartment communities are not alike. They will have different requirements.

If you’d like to read more, pick up your free complete guide to apartment security systems. For more information about proactive security for your multifamily residential community, contact us.

Texas Private Security License Number: B14187
California Alarm Operator License Number: ACO7876
Florida Alarm System Contractor I License Number: EF20001598
Tennessee Alarm Contracting Company License Number: 2294
Virginia Private Security Services Business License Number: 11-19499
Alabama Electronic Security License # 002116
Canada TSBC License: LEL0200704