The short answer is yes, but as with my most short answers, there should be a closer look to truly understand the answer.
The question above is purposely vague and so my short answer is a yes, but of course it all depends. It depends on what the expected impact is for the shrubbery. If a business were to have the expectation that a row of shrubbery around the front of the property would stop an angry customer from attacking the building…well you know the answer is no longer yes.
If the expectation is that nobody would dare walk through or hop over the shrubbery to commit a property or violent crime, then again the answer would no longer be yes.
So what good could a row of shrubbery be?
We turn to a concept first made popular in the 1970’s, although it didn’t take off until much later. The concept is called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). This concept covers everything from designing buildings to eliminate blind spots where crimes can occur outside the view of the building tenants, all the way to…yes the placement of shrubbery.
Essentially, placing shrubbery around the perimeter of your property makes it clear to everyone where the public belongs and where they don’t.
It reminds me of waste high turnstiles. Somebody once challenged our security team how a criminal could simply hop over the recently installed turnstiles. Our response was that somebody hopping over a turnstile would draw the attention of the dozens of employees sitting in view of the turnstiles. The person hopping the turnstile would have no explanation if confronted, as it would be obvious to everyone the turnstile hopping person was up to no good.
More importantly, the turnstiles were used to track badge scans, which is important information for emergencies and even investigations. So, just like the turnstiles, a row of shrubbery can be a great security investment if your intention is to set your space apart from the public’s. Anybody on the wrong side of the shrubbery would clearly be trespassing and should be confronted appropriately.
The extra bonus: a row of beautifully manicured shrubbery is more pleasing for employees than a metal fence.