Authorities are hoping new signs around abandoned homes in the North East Kaiapoi red zone will stop criminal activity in the area.
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) and the Waimakariri District Council said yesterday they will begin trialling "prohibited access' signs on Crown-owned properties in the zone as a response to residents' concerns about safety and security.
Waimakariri MP Clayton Cosgrove said abandoned homes in the area had been attracting criminals.
The trial aims to find out if signs on vacated properties bought by the Government will act as a deterrent.
Signs indicating the status of the property will be placed on a group of approximately 120 properties .
"Anything that makes people safer in their own area is a good thing," Cosgrove said.
The trial will last for four weeks.
Cera, the council and police will then evaluate the results to see if the approach could be usedfor all Crown-owned properties in the residential red zone throughout greater Christchurch.
Cosgrove thought the Government could also deter criminals from the area by mowing the lawns.
"A lot of those houses are pretty run down. If they just cleaned some of these sections up a little bit it wouldn't be a place for silly people to congregate . . . and it would make it nicer for people living nearby."