Lock your garage doors that lead into the home, install kick- plates on doors, place security bars or protective films on windows and cut the shaft off a hockey stick and stick in the back sliding glass door.
“The last one is a simple trick, but I am telling you it works to keep people out of your house… there’s nothing more Canadian,” said Toronto Police Inspector David Rydzik at the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) 2017 Crime Prevention campaign launch at police headquarters on February 21.
He’s a member of the OACP Community Safety and Crime Prevention committee that has identified some crimes or potential situations where victimization can occur. They include residential break-&-enters; impaired/drugged driving; cybercrime/identity theft; fraud in online exchanges; theft from vehicles, garages, lockers, mailboxes, sheds and front porches; pharmacy thefts/robberies and theft of vehicles, bicycles and prescription drugs.
Rydzik said that nearly 75,000 pieces of property were stolen in the city last year.
At the press conference, several recovered items were on display.
“This is just a small example of what was actually taken and I believe this represents a majority of what we have listed in our top-ten for crimes,” he said. “When it comes to property and these items that have been recovered, it is important for homeowners and citizens to do the small things again. Engrave it if you can, you can record your serial numbers and take pictures of your property, especially jewelry that obviously has sentimental value. Having photos of those pieces of jewelry helps police services in Ontario immensely in being able to identify them and get them back to their owners.”
Ontario Provincial Police Superintendent Robyn MacEachern is the OACP Community Safety & Crime Prevention committee vice-chair.
“From the list that they reviewed and provided, you will see that the committee is really attuned to what causes victimization across the province and ways in which we champion the best practices for prevention,” she said. “The work of the committee has been instrumental across Ontario in advancing the concept and implementation of situation tables with more than 60 tables practicing multi-sectoral collaborative responses to those that are most vulnerable in our community.”
The goal of this year’s Shoulda Woulda Coulda: Crime Prevention Starts With You campaign is to heighten awareness of the simple things citizens can do to protect their property and personal safety and well-being.
OACP vice-president Bryan Larkin said they wanted to engage the public in preventing crime.
“This one emphasises the fact that all of us need to be aware of common crimes and situations that can add up in our communities to larger problems when it comes to victimization,” Larkins said.
This year’s campaign is supported by several community partners, including the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation, Hydro One, Canadian Security Association, Accident Support Services Inc., Humber College’s School of Social & Community Services and Interac.
Larkin, who is the Waterloo Regional Police Service Chief, emphasized that partnerships are critical to achieving community safety and well-being.
“We all have a role to play in crime prevention and in ensuring personal and community safety,” he added. “Naturally, this can occur through strong partnerships and collaborations by individuals and groups that make up our communities.”