The Regina Police Service is asking Regina residents to take a critical look at their homes, properties and personal safety practices with the goal of preventing crime in our neighbourhoods this Spring and Summer.
While working in the yard and spring-cleaning, Regina residents are reminded to ensure their doors are locked. In fact, even when you are in your residence, it is a good idea to lock your doors behind you. Too many of us leave valuables like purses, wallets and car keys within easy reach just inside the front door. Locking your doors prevents a thief from stepping inside long enough to grab your purse and disappear.
Another common scenario is one where a suspect will distract a homeowner with a false report of a suspicious person or damage in the back yard. When the homeowner goes to the back of the property, a second suspect enters the house to steal keys, wallets or other belongings. In this situation, remember to lock your front door or have another household member remain at the front door.
At monthly meetings of the Regina Board of Police Commissioners, the Board, the media and the public get to see crime statistics for the previous month, compared to the same month a year ago. At the April 27th meeting, the statistics show a decrease of 19% in Theft under $5,000. Many of these offences are preventable since many are incidents where items are stolen from unlocked vehicles. Even with the decrease, there were still 333 incidents of theft under $5000 in March of 2011. Police remind vehicle owners to remove all items of value from plain view in the vehicle, including sunglasses, CD’s, loose change and, especially, spare sets of keys to your house or other vehicles. Lock your vehicle and, if you have the opportunity, park in a garage. Lock the garage doors. These practices take time, but taking a few minutes to remove the opportunity for a crime can save damage, dollars and emotional upset in the long term. (Monthly crime statistics are available on the Regina Police Service website at www.reginapolice.ca )
When warmer weather arrives, some residents may leave windows or doors open in order to cool the house. Recognize that these may be common points of entry for would-be thieves. Don’t leave your house open while you are away and take steps to minimize your vulnerability while you are at home. Always store bicycles, sports equipment and tools behind locked doors at end of day. Try to view your own house and property the way a thief might see it; identify vulnerabilities and take steps to make things more secure.
Finally, remember that various Social Media, like Facebook and Twitter are a great way to stay in touch with friends and share ideas with a large community of people, but think twice about how you report your status. Telling the whole Social Media community that you are away on holidays may not be a good idea. Messages can be forwarded and shared with people you don’t know. To someone who is looking for an opportunity to commit a crime, you have just extended an invitation that says your house and property are unguarded. Remember to step back once in awhile and view your house, property and Facebook status the way a criminal might view it.
Helping Regina residents live in safety is a priority for the Regina Police Service. Every one of us has a role to play in neighbourhood and community safety. Take crime prevention seriously by safeguarding your property and employing good personal safety strategies. Always report any activity that seems suspicious. Anyone who sees a crime in progress should call 9-1-1. Anyone who has information that could assist police is asked to contact the Regina Police Service at 777-6500 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).