Summer Crime Prevention
The Alberta Provincial Crime Watch Association, of which HCRCWA is a member, and the RCMP have issued some common sense, but effective, tips for crime prevention as we move into the more lax days of spring and summer.
“As we welcome spring weather across the province, Albertans will start to spend more time outdoors away from home, including at their seasonal properties.
In May 2020, there were 313 residential break and enters and 39 seasonal property break and enters in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions – these numbers are way too high. Learning how to protect your property is your best defence against crime. Reporting crime also remains of utmost importance to help police find the perpetrators.
Albertans can count on the RCMP to continue to be fully committed to the safety and security of our province during the pandemic. This includes adopting our Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies.
Here are some questions to consider this spring, whether you’re at home or at your seasonal property:
- Are your front, back, and garage doors locked?
- Are your outbuildings and shed locked?
- Are your lawn mower, quad and tools stored in a safe location?
- Are your alarm system and motion sensor lights active?
- Is it obvious when you’re not home? • Is your yard adequately lit? Do you have a fence or natural barrier around your property?
This month, follow our #9PMRoutine daily CPTED tips. These tips may sound simple, but CPTED has proven to discourage crime and promote security all over the world. For more tips and crime prevention information, follow our social media accounts on Twitter (@RCMPAlberta), Facebook (@ RCMPinAlberta) and YouTube (@RCMP- GRC Alberta).
RCMP encourage the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity to police. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future. If you see a crime in progress, dial 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).”
But it’s not just your property that is at risk. What about your vehicle? Below is an interesting experiment conducted by the Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association.
Vehicle Anti-Theft Campaign
As part of the Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch awareness campaigns, we wanted to try a targeted program to see if we could influence behaviors towards crime prevention in a positive way.
With reference to crime report summaries supplied by K Division, we decided to target Motor Vehicle thefts in the Red Deer RCMP detachment area. In 2019, 1219 from a total provincial number of 2611 vehicles were stolen from the Red Deer detachment area, representing 46% of all MV thefts for that year.
With a short video https://f.io/bJm5_NM5 and a set of ads we established a Google Ad word campaign starting October 1, 2020 and running through to Dec 31, 2020. We targeted and 18km radius around the city of Red Deer reaching west to Sylvan Lake, East to Delburne, North to Blackfalds and south to Penhold.
Our message was simple. Please Lock Your Vehicle
During this three month period, we achieved 2.72 million viewings of our display ad along with 186,000 viewings of our video.
After review we saw a 32% reduction in motor vehicle thefts in the six month period From October 2020 to April 2021 for the Red Deer / Blackfalds areas compared to the same time period 2019/2020. ( 2019/2020 saw 567 stolen vehicles 2020/2021 had 381, a difference of 186.)
More locally, after some discussion about how to best convey Turner Valley RCMP’s Staff Sgt. Laura Akitt’s weekly Mountie Moments that detail crime in Foothills County to our members, HCRCWA has decided to send out a fan out email every 3 weeks containing the prior 3 weeks Mountie Moments. Each week Sgt. Akitt provides a statistical summary of the crimes committed, a paragraph or two of some of the more significant events residents should be aware of. It’s a quick way to find out exactly what’s going on in your area.
If you would like to read the Mountie Moments on a more timely basis Foothills County is posting them weekly at www.mdfoothills.com/services/protective-services/mountie-moments.html
Submitted by Dave Schroeder
HCRCWA Board Member