City Camp Oakland for Activist Crime Fighters

City Camp Oakland for Activist Crime Fighters

Last year I attended City Camp Oakland at the City Hall, it was a buzzing day of concerned citizens, Volunteer Activists and city employees.

One of the Main themes are how can technology make our city better.

One of my experiences was on how city and county can make data available for citizens and how the citizens can use this data for things that had not been imagined before.

I would like to invite all members of Neighborhood Guard to join me for this year’s City Camp Oakland at the City Hall on this Saturday.

Please sign up here

This is your opportunity to share and improve your ideas on crime reduction, get access to crime stats in the right format and to press for access to list of wanted license plates.

This is where we recruit volunteer programmers for our cause.

Hoping to see many of you on Saturday.

Jesper Jurcenoks
neighborhood Guard

Non-technical hosting family problem – solved


  • Optimal hosting home belongs to:
    • a non-technical homeowner
    • a homeowner who doesn’t want power consuming and noisy equipment in their home
    • home-owner that does not want to operate technical equipment when criminal activity occurs.

Neighborhood Guard Solution:

  • Absolute minimal requirements for hosting home
    • a cable that plugs into high-speed Internet
    • a power-supply the size of a large matchbox
    • a single cable to the camera (power and data)
    • a power cable to infra-red
    • minimum annual electrical cost

      The Power supply for the camera makes no noise, uses little power and fits in the palm of a hand

      The Power supply for the camera makes no noise, uses little power and fits in the palm of a hand

Live in Oakland District 4? Prevent Crime -> Win Oakland A’s Tickets!

The office of councilmember Libby Schaaf is awarding Oakland A’s tickets to the most organized Neighborhood.

These are the 15 neighborhoods competing against each other in District 4:

  1. Montclair
  2. Shepherd Canyon
  3. Piedmont Pines
  4. Oakmore
  5. Lincoln Highlands
  6. Dimond
  7. Woodminster
  8. Crestmont
  9. Laurel
  10. Redwood Heights
  11. Davenport
  12. Maxwell Park
  13. Allendale
  14. Fairfax
  15. Melrose

Here are the official details from Libby Office:

Do you live in an organized neighborhood? Are you helping to bring your community together? Tell us about it!
August 6th is National Night Out— a night to celebrate our neighborhoods and bring neighbors together. National Night Out (or NNO) was introduced in 1984 in an effort to promote neighborhood camaraderie and involvement in crime prevention activities. In recognition of National Night Out, Councilmember Libby Schaaf – District 4 is offering FREE Oakland A’s tickets to the most organized D4 communities.*
    There are three ways for a neighborhood to win:
        1. Have the greatest total NNO block parties on August 6th
        2. Have the greatest increase in total NNO block parties
        3. Be named the most organized neighborhood in District Four
For contest 1 and 2, simply register your NNO party with City here:
Please be sure to forward this email to your friends and neighbors…organized neighborhoods build community and public safety!
* Libby Schaaf’s office is still working out the details on the A’s tickets, so they cannot yet promise a specific number of tickets.


Here is the Kicker in the Survey for contest 3

Extra points are awarded to members of Neighborhood Guard

Extra points are awarded to members of Neighborhood Guard

Sign up for neighborhood Guard today and increase your changes of getting A’s tickets.

Enrollment Fee and Annual Fee

The enrollment fee to join Neighborhood Guard is based on the total number of households in your neighborhood not just the participating households. E.g. if your block has 88 households but only 48 participate in your security initiative then you would still sign up to Neighborhood Guard based on the 88 households.

Enrollment fee structure:

Households Enrollment Fee
Up to 10 $500
11 to 50 $1000
51 to 100 $1500
101 to 150 $2000
151 to 200 $2500
Each additional 50 households Additional $500

Enrollment fee includes the yearly fee per member organization for the rest of the calendar year in which the enrollment fee is paid. (It does not include the per camera fee) Continue reading

Neighborhood Guard Bylaws

The Neighborhood Guard Board has release the new Bylaws.

Bylaws Image

New Organizations wishing to join Neighborhood Guard must agree and adhere to the Bylaws.

The Bylaws can be changed by the members of Neighborhood Guard, (details in section 14 of the bylaws), we expect you to actively work with us to make the bylaws better every year.

First chance for changing the bylaws will be at the Annual Members meeting in October (Section 7 of the Bylaws)

If you have suggestions or proposal for changes to the bylaws make sure you submit them well in advance before the meeting so that they can make it into the notice for the meeting. (Section 8 and 14 of the Bylaws)

The current Board agrees that the Bylaws as they stand are “wordy” and could use additional editing to make them shorter and friendlier to read. If you are a wordsmith, legal-eagle or just likes fixing bylaws, please join our Bylaws Committee 😉

PDF Version of the bylaws. Neighborhood Guard Bylaws.v1 – Signed

Gated Vs. Ungated Communities, Which is Safer?

When a violent crime happens in one of our neighborhoods, the response is often, let’s get a gate plus a fence and turn our block into a gated community.

Studies on Crime Rate : Gated vs Ungated

When 1,400 Florida homes were compared over a 4-year period in 2005, gated and ungated communities had nearly identical rates of burglaries and car theft. Only minor crime like smash-and-grab theft and vandalism was lower in gated communities. [Reference]

When comparing property crime victimization in Gated vs Ungated communities in 2012 on a national level, Criminologist Nicholas Branic found no significant influence in crime rate from being in a gated community.[Reference]

Even worse: In South Africa you increase the risk of both day-time and night-time burglary if you live in a gated community. [Reference]

Why no advantage found in these studies?

The following hypotheses have been proposed:

  1. Studies compare homes of similar value not taking into consideration that gated communities typically are located in high-crime neighborhoods and are compared to un-gated communities in lower crime neighborhoods,
  2. People in gated communities feel safe and therefore leave their door unlocked, don’t have a Neighborhood Watch group etc.
  3. Everyone knows the code to the gate! Careless residents give their gate code to everyone, from Pizza deliveries to cheap handymen rendering the gate useless.

Would gating my existing community reduce my risk of crime?

YES!, If our neighborhood recently has experienced a lot of crime, then you likely already have a Neighborhood Watch group (or even Neighborhood Guard group) in place, and will remain vigilant for years to come. This mitigates hypothesis 2 and 3.

But what about hypothesis 1?

In February of 2013 a comprehensive study taking a myriad of variables into account was published in Justice Quarterly, which shows that gating will reduce risk of burglaries, how much reduction is unclear. [Reference]

Is gating my existing community worth it?

HOA fees for building and Maintaining Fence and Gate system will be costly. City will likely require you to take over maintenance of your streets. There is the cost of decreased emergency personnel response times (Police, Fire, Ambulance), No study has been made showing if gating will be worth it.

Other more cost-effective alternatives to gating are available including the DIY Community Camera solution from Neighborhood Guard.

New Oakland Police Districts

Oakland Police department announces the borders of its new 5 districts.

Splitting Oakland from 2 districts into 5 districts Oakland is recommended by the Bratton Group. From the Bratton Group Report.

“These reforms are an important component in the larger effort to move the OPD to a Neighborhood Policing Plan, with the city divided into five districts, each commanded by a captain. The key to this new district-based structure is geographic accountability for each captain – and for their subordinate lieutenants, sergeants, and officers – for a specific area of the city with its specific crime and disorder problems, its familiar community members, and, to a significant degree, its specific cast of criminal characters. Under the Neighborhood Policing Plan, the district captains will be the principal crime fighters in the Department, each taking responsibility for crime in their respective districts and each held accountable for designing and directing responses and strategies to counter crime conditions.”

City of Oakland Police Districts

The 5 new Oakland Police districts

Continue reading

Burglary Prevention Tips.

Target Selection (what burglars look for):

  • Near pool of offenders (is there a parolee halfway home nearby).
  • Near major thoroughfare.
  • On outskirts of neighborhoods (greater exposure to strangers).
  • Previously burglarized (4x more likely to get burglarized again compared to non-burglarized homes (reason-burglars return to get property left behind or tell others of desirable houses, offer cues for a good payoff or easy access. Burglars may return months later to steal property, which owners have presumably replaced through insurance proceeds. Most concentrated in lower-income areas, where burglaries are more numerous).
  • Houses near burglarized homes (burglar may return and if previous house is hardened, select another nearby house).


  • Houses vacant for extended period.
  • Routinely vacant during the day.
  • Houses of new residents.
  • Houses w/o dogs (a dogs presence is a close substitute for human occupancy and most burglars avoid houses with dogs).


  • Houses with cover (tall bushes, sprawling, dense trees that block view of house from street) are more appealing to burglars.
  • Houses that are secluded are more appealing to burglars.
  • Houses with poor lighting are more appealing to burglars.
  • Corner houses are more vulnerable (fewer immediate neighbors).
  • Houses with doors and windows that face other houses appear to be less vulnerable to burglary.


  • Houses easily entered through side or back doors/windows.
  • Hostile vegetation, such as rosebushes or cacti, below windows is good deterrent or window locks.


  • Houses with weakened entry points.
  • Houses whose residents are careless about security (leaving windows open) studies show houses with alarms combined with other security devices reduce burglaries (including window locks, dead bolts, security lights and alarms).

Potential rewards

  • Houses displaying signs of wealth (though burglars avoid the most expensive houses).
  • See goods through windows of buildings or autos.

What Burglars are After:
Goods Stolen

  • Cash
  • Jewelry
  • Weapons
  • Electronics
  • Easily portable items (not usually art, fine china, etc).

1999 statistics show burglars are:

  • 87% male.
  • 63% under 25.

What do burglars do:

  • Burglarize 2+ houses a week.
  • Burglars typically dispose of stolen property within 24 hours.
  • 2/3 of burglars force entry, 1/3 enter through openings.
  • Burglar swill be caught approx. 1 in 30 times.
  • Most burglars motivated to get quick cash to support drug/alcohol habit.

Responses for homeowner (should be used in collaboration with each other, not all have to be used):

  • Report all incidents to OPD using the on-line OPD Citizen’s Crime Report.
  • Install a burglar alarm (Burglars steal less from houses with alarms).
  • Install a CCTV system (Help more in identifying burglars and vehicles).
  • Harden your target (Sturdy front door with deadbolt, window locks (no latches), double pane windows.
  • Increase occupancy indicators (Interior/exterior lights left on, closed curtains, noise (from TV/stereo), cars in driveway, and
  • electrics on timers, anything else to make it appear as if someone is home).
  • Avoid leaving clues when you are away on extended vacations-collect mail/newspapers
  • Improve visibility to the house from street/neighbors.
  • Implement or participate in your Neighborhood Watch Program (and follow advice of program).
  • Reduce House access.
  • Reduce ways into the house, into the yard.
  • Mark your property
    • Engrave items:
      • Use etching liquids
      • Owner applied number
    • Write down serial numbers and keep in secure spot, etc.
    • Take photos of all equipment serial numbers using your smart cell phone.

Other Deterrents

  • Install fake alarm signs (or real ones if you have a system).
  • Install “Beware of Dog” signs (even if no dog).
  • Place dog bowls in front of your property.
  • Install locked gates in your yard’s rear access points.

Residents should use all installed security devices.
From US Dept of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services-

Configuring Camera and Cloud Upload

Setup Dreamhost storage.

Do NOT keep your confidential information on, instead make a subdomain for your confidential information.

Set up a subdomain for your video captures, then you can use the main site for your neighborhoods web-site. e.g. for your neighborhood web-site and for the video files.



Setup the Camera.

  1. Enter Camera Setup.
  2. Make sure you are running the latest firmware
    1. Camera version on Setup – About
    2. download from
    3. Install on Axis Setup – System Options – Maintenance
  3. Set time to use NTP server.

    P1347 & 1357
    Internet time servers rule. here is a few to choose from:,,

    Continue reading