I had the opportunity to help launch the 2017 Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) Crime Prevention Campaign (#CrimePreventionONT) on February 21, 2017 at Toronto Police Headquarters. The Canadian Security Association (CANASA) supports the initiative and has for the past four years. The theme of the 2017 campaign is “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda” and is focused on raising awareness about crime prevention across the province. The top 10 crimes or potential situations where victimization can occur were highlighted by police leaders and experts.
The List Includes:
- Residential Break & Enters,
- Impaired/Drugged Driving
- Cyber Crime/Identity Theft
- Fraud – Online exchanges
- Theft from Vehicles/Theft of Vehicles
- Theft of Bicyles
- Theft from Garages, Lockers, Mail Boxes, Sheds and Front Porches (deliveries)
- Awareness of Your Surroundings to Prevent Assaults
- Pharmacy Theft/Robberies
- Theft of Prescription Drugs
The Crime Prevention Campaign is supported by community partners: Accident Support Services Inc.; CANASA; Humber College – School of Social and Community Services; Interac; Hydro One and the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation. Key to the success of this program is the awareness of the public. Media also play a role in spreading the word about the potential victimization.
Mitigating your risks is crucial to not being a victim of crime. Target hardening your home and business is one step we can take to help reduce your risk. Begin with locking your things up, this includes your front door. Surprisingly, many of us do not even take this basic security measure. Don’t give the criminal the opportunity. Obviously, alarm systems, intercoms, access control systems and video surveillance systems can help deter, detect and document criminal activity. Having a professionally installed and maintained system is crucial. Hire a professional and do your homework on the best solution for your needs. Be mindful of the total cost of ownership when selecting these systems. The best deal may not be the best long term solution. Signage is also a key factor in deterring crime. Post signage detailing alarm system or video surveillance – they work! The complete 2017 OACP booklet can be found here.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s I had the opportunity to sell many commercial and residential security solutions. I thoroughly enjoyed helping people solve issues with a full range of electronic solutions. I still do. Unfortunately, many times, business or home owners would contact us after a break and enter. The best time to consider security solutions is before an incident. Make a habit of reviewing your security regularly. This early exposure to criminal behavior helped me better understand how best to deploy electronic security solutions. Keeping up with technology has also helped form a deeper understanding of the proper application of security methods. Seek out security professionals that can help you solve your own issues. Most important, be aware and vigilant. Don’t give the criminal the opportunity to make you or your organization a victim of crime. Lastly, don’t forget to report crime in your community. Police need the public to be alert and report suspicious activity.