Now that Spring weather is here, the Regina Police Service is offering some reminders to help citizens reduce their vulnerability and their chances of becoming victims of crime. In the past week, the Regina Police Service has received reports of 53 Theft from Auto calls and 41 Break and Enters, many of which were preventable.
In the week of May 21-28, there were 53 incidents of Theft from Auto reported to police. Of those, 25 involved vehicles that were left unlocked. Twenty-two of the reported 41 Break and Enters were to houses, 13 to garages. In at least four of those cases, the garages were unlocked. Five bikes were stolen from garages and a number of vehicle parked inside garages were broken into.
So many incidents of property crime are preventable by simply removing the opportunity for the crime to occur. In the majority of cases, locking doors (home, garage and vehicle) could have provided a deterrent to the crime. Here are some tips to reduce your vulnerability:
– Lock your car, garage and house (even when you are at home). It takes a few extra seconds, but think of how long you had to save to buy that vehicle, or bicycle or smartphone. Take the time to secure your property.
– Look at your house and vehicle the way a thief may see it and take steps to remove the opportunity for crime.
– Remove valuables from plain sight inside your vehicle. A handful of change in the cupholder is of value to a thief, especially if he/she manages to steal a handful of change from twenty vehicles parked on your street.
– Don’t leave your purse, wallet or car keys just inside your door at home, especially if you leave the door unlocked when you arrive home. A thief would only have to reach inside, grab your purse and be gone in seconds. Lock your door behind you and move your valuables away from the door.
– If you are living in a new neighbourhood, be aware of suspicious activity. There have been a number of thefts from homes under construction. These properties can present easy targets because they are not always locked and secure and there are many people and vehicles coming and going from the job site.
– Consider upgrading the outside lighting or the locks at your home or business, but above all, use the locks and lights you already have!
When it comes to personal safety:
– If you have an exercise routine that takes you outdoors at sunrise or sunset, wear reflective clothing so motorists can see you. Use the sidewalk, or if you are on the road, make sure you are walking or running on the left-hand side, so you can see traffic as it approaches.
– If you wear earphones, consider using just one, so that you can also hear approaching traffic, footsteps and the sounds of any other potential threat to your safety.
– Carry a cellphone, if you can, and let someone else know where you are going and when you’ll be back; better still, walk or run with a friend.
– Talk about safety with your children; make safety plans and discuss “scenarios”, so that they know how to respond in various situations. Talk about the safest route to and from school, walking with friends, best choices when they’re at home alone, etc.
– If you get an unsolicited e-mail, phone call or some other communication offering you the “deal of a lifetime” or an amazing prize in a contest you’ve never entered, stop, breathe and let good judgment prevail. Scams work because people are greedy or let themselves be pressured into rushing.
Crime prevention isn’t just a theory; it’s a series of deliberate activities that help to reduce your vulnerability. Take the time to enhance your safety and protect your property. As always, report suspicious activity to police by calling 306-777-6500. If you see a crime in progress, call 9-1-1.