As regular readers of the blog will know, I am a member of the Milton Community Policing Committee (MCPC)and we have monthly meetings about community outreach with the Halton Police Department and promote programs to help raise awareness of safety / crime issues in Halton.
Its been reported recently that despite the massive growth in the area, Halton remains the safest community in Canada. I think that’s a direct result of the officers in Halton and the great job they do.
During our meeting last night, they reported on some recent statistics of different crimes that are on the rise. A majority of them included car theft / property theft from peoples driveways.
In the last couple of weeks, Halton Police have had several incidences of vehicle theft as people start their cars in the morning and leave them unattended. Its important for people to realize that even though our community is “safe” there are still people from both inside and outside the region who are on the prowl looking for opportunities.
The MO of many of them are driving around neighbourhoods looking for unattended cars that are running, quickly checking to see if they are unlocked and driving off with them. The best line of defense is to either not let your car warm up unattended and unlocked or invest in an automatic car starter that locks the doors while its running.
Another disturbing trend is property theft from vehicles. People leave valuables like cell phones, wallets, laptops etc in plain view and that’s just too much of a temptation for criminals to do the quick smash and grab. The Halton Regional Police force are now embarking on a campaign to help raise awareness of this called “Lock it or lose it”
From the Halton Police website:
Lock It or Lose It
With the holiday season on the horizon, the Halton Regional Police Service would like to remind citizens to be cognizant and diligent by locking their vehicles and hiding valuable items.
Adhering to the following proactive recommendations may deter thieves from stealing your valuables:
1. Locking your vehicle and removing all valuable items from plain view. Items such as: GPS units, laptops, wallets, cellular phones and any other item of monetary value.
2. Simply locking your vehicle while valuable items are still visible inside provides a false sense of security. Thieves will smash the windows in order to gain quick access to these valuables.
3. Be particularly cognizant when purchasing expensive electronic equipment and then storing it in your vehicle. The best alternative is to transport these items directly to your home. If this is not a feasible option, lock the valuable item in the trunk of your vehicle.
4. Do not leave your vehicle running, unlocked and unattended while warming up in the driveway. Thieves have stolen vehicles from various driveways while they have been left operating unattended.
Don’t enable these thieves to steal your valuable items. Remove the opportunity and reduce your likelihood of being victimized.
Anyone with suspect information or information pertaining to any thefts is asked to call the Burlington Criminal Investigations office at 905-825-4747 extension 2316 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
One of the things that the MCPC will be doing in the coming weeks is handing out brochures with this information at high traffic areas like shopping malls, GO Station, grocery stores etc to help remind people to be aware of the surroundings and to do what they can to make it difficult for these types of crimes to happen. We will be working with the principals of Milton schools to see if they can help distribute this information as well so it gets in the hands of people.
The Committee is always looking for more volunteers to help out and to join us and help take part in initiatives like this to help raise awareness in our own neighbourhoods. There have been quite a few new people joining us and we’re always looking for more. There are a lot of ideas that we would like to implement and the more people we have helping us out the better. Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining the MCPC. We meet monthly and combined with our activities its not a lot of time to spend, but it is worthwhile.
You can find out more about the programs of the Halton Police on their website www.haltonpolice.ca