Motorists, tuned in to their favourite Saskatchewan radio stations over the next few months, will be hearing a reminder that their actions are the “key” to driving down auto theft incidents in Saskatchewan. A new Vehicle Theft Prevention Campaign has been launched, province-wide, on radio and mobile devices, thanks to funding through the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police (SACP), with the guidance of Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI).
The idea for the education campaign came out of analysis, in early 2015, of auto theft cases in Regina. Regina Police Service investigators and crime trend analysts noted two behaviours contributing to the total number of vehicles stolen in Regina: more and more vehicles were being stolen that had been left unlocked or with the keys inside. The analysis also indicated the trend was growing right across Saskatchewan. The Regina Police Service enlisted the participation of other police agencies and approached the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police (SACP) with a proposal to acquire funding to develop and deliver a comprehensive public education campaign. The steering committee also approached SGI, for its expertise in communication and advertising, to create a plan to deliver messages to motorists throughout the province. In August, 2015, through the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police, a Crime Prevention Grant in the amount of $162,000 was approved for the public education campaign.
“Auto theft is more than just a property offence,” said SACP President and Weyburn Police Chief, Marlo Pritchard. “When a stolen vehicle is driven in a dangerous manner, there is a very real risk to the general public. Everyone can play a role in reducing risk to the public simply by locking your vehicle and taking the keys with you.”
“Supporting law enforcement’s efforts to reduce vehicle thefts is a natural fit for SGI,” said Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Regina University on behalf of the Minister Responsible for SGI, Don McMorris. “Vehicle owners also have a role to play in making their vehicles less appealing to potential thieves. Ultimately, if everyone does their part, we can reduce the number of vehicles stolen and the risks and consequences associated with vehicle theft.”
“The issue of vehicle theft extends beyond municipal police service borders,” said Supt. Kris Vibe, “F” Division RCMP Admin and Personnel Officer. “We are committed to working together with all Saskatchewan communities and rural municipalities to reduce and prevent vehicle thefts and theft from vehicles – it is everyone’s responsibility.”
“We would like to thank all our partners involved in this crime prevention initiative,” said Chief Troy Hagen, of the Regina Police Service. “The public is our most important and powerful partner in this program. Each of us, choosing to make crime prevention part of our daily routines, CAN and WILL make a difference, enhancing safety in all Saskatchewan communities.”
The radio and online advertising began Monday, May 2nd and will continue to July 24th.