Landscaping for Crime Prevention

Landscaping Guidelines for Crime Prevention

Landscaping is a great way to beautify your home and show pride in ownership.  It is also a way to increase your home’s security.  You want to avoid obstructing your vision and creating hiding spots around your home. 

If planting within 6 feet of a sidewalk or walkway area, ground cover plants should be used.  To maximum visibility and to avoid creating hiding places, these plants should not exceed a height of 2 feet at maturity or be trimmed to this height.

Shrubbery should be used more than 6 feet away from away from walkways.  To avoid creating hiding places, shrubs should be trimmed to a maximum of height of 3 feet. 

To discourage access to areas, such as below windows and other places, barrier plants can be used.  Barrier plants will have thorns, needles, or sharp leaves that will prevent people from wanting to climb through or hide in.  Popular barrier plants include Pyracantha, Barberry, Natal Plum, Yucca, Hedgehog, and Porcupine Holly.  If used under a window, the plant should be trimmed below the height of the windowsill.  Remember to use gloves and long sleeved shirts with trimming.

When planting, trees should be more than 10 feet away from your home.  When they grow larger you do not want them to become a climbing aid to upper levels of your home.  From this reason the type of tree should be considered.   Branches should also be trimmed to prevent this.   You do not want trees to obscure views or lighting.  To achieve this, the tree’s foliage should be trimmed and thinned on a regular basis.  The lowest foliage on a tree should be no less than 7 feet from the ground.

Gravel or other small landscape rocks create noise when stepped on.  For these reasons they should be used under windows or near entryways to alert you of a person in these areas.  Avoid using large rocks or other items which can be thrown through windows.

To have your home and landscaping evaluated by a Crime Prevention professional, you can contact the Boise Police at 570-6070 or 570-6071 or email