Landscape Design Principles for Crime Prevention
before it happens is an important goal for the City of Farmington
Hills because the City believes that a safe community is a
desirable community. The Farmington Hills Police Department
has established a Crime Prevention program, designed to help
members of the community identify practical and meaningful methods
to address safety concerns in their environments. Often, the
methods involve simply re-thinking the way we place things in the
The City of Farmington Hills has encouraged, and in some cases
required, the extensive use of plant material and screen walls in
the built environment. The City’s crime prevention effort
has directed attention to the placement and maintenance of these
elements so that they continue to enhance the environment but
won’t compromise the safety of the people who live, work and play
in and around them.
Below are some guidelines and suggestions to consider when
designing new landscapes or preparing maintenance plans:
- Avoid planting evergreen shrubs beneath windows and around
entranceways. If evergreen shrubs are present already,
prune then at the bottom to form ‘horseshoes’ so that objects or
people can be seen beneath and behind them.
- Keep shrubs pruned to a height of not more than 4½ feet in
height around entranceways and windows, where possible.
- If shrubs are planted beneath windows, consider planting
shrubs that are ‘prickly’ or have thorns to discourage people
from hiding behind them.
- Police officers in vehicles can patrol the City more
efficiently and completely if they can see into developments
from the street. When designing landscapes, consider the
- Solid walls are impenetrable. Although they create
privacy, they also create a security risk. Use walls
cautiously. A see-through fence (i.e. wrought iron with
decorative brick pillars) can provide the separation desired
without blocking important views.
- Trim the bottom branches of evergreen trees around
doorways, carports and between public thoroughfares and
- Carports provide good protection for cars. They also
provide a great place for people to hide. If carports
are part of a development, make sure the inside of the carport
can be seen from the street.
Should you have any questions regarding crime prevention,
contact the Crime Prevention Division at the Farmington Hills
Police Department (248) 871-2750.
Adopted June 4, 1998