Since our 2015 Safety Night we have continued to receive intermittent requests about creating a neighbourhood watch program in Pineview.
We’d like to share the information the Community Police Officer’s shared with us to help facilitate any blocks interested in the program.
A Neighbourhood Watch is a group of volunteers in a small geographic area like a street block, condo complex or apartment building who keep watch and report suspicious activity to a watch coordinator and set a community example for proper safety measures.
The watch coordinator will communicate with the Community Policing Office reporting suspicious activity and sharing alerts from the police with he watch.
The key principle of a neighbourhood watch is to make all residents feel safe in the neighbourhood.
To start a neighbourhood watch, you’ll need about 10-12 volunteers in a 50-100 house hold community to set up a public meeting with our local Community Police Officer.
(Pineview Community Association will happily make the introductions or help facilitate the meeting as needed.)
If your housing community/group has a 50%+ membership in the watch program you may be eligible for a Neighbourhood Watch Community Sign.
Some key positions needed are:
A Watch Coordinator, who is the primary point of contact for the watch with the Community Police Office, organize regular meetings, promote membership in the watch and attend city wide meetings of watch organizations.
Block or Street Captains, who are responsible for 10-20 homes, reporting to the Watch Coordinator, and setting an example of property safety & security.
Watch Members contact their Block/Street Captain to report anything suspicions, attend watch meetings and keep your own house & property secure.
Some simple steps to protect your Car
- Park your car off the street, preferably in your yard or in a locked garage.
- If you need to park in the street at night, ensure you park in a well lit area.
- Have the Vehicle Identification Number etched into all major windows.
- Don’t leave your keys in the ignition.
- Don’t leave valuable items in your vehicle.
- Spare keys should never be hidden on or in a vehicle.
- Remove cheque books, credit cards, driver’s licence and registration papers from your glovebox.
- Keep all doors locked while driving.
- Check the rear seat of your car before getting in.
- Always close all windows and lock all doors before leaving your car.
Protecting your home from would be thieves with a vigilant focus on crime prevention is a great way to ensure you feel safe and secure in your home, street and community.
There are many facets to home security and the following information is to help you ensure your home is safe and secure.
Step 1: Get to know your neighbour
Get to know your neighbour, look out for each other and report all suspicious activity to police.
Step 2: Marking of valuables
You can easily achieve this by marking your property or purchasing commercially available products using micro dot technology. it is also important to to keep a record of your valuables and hard to replace items.
Step 3: Fences, trees and shrubs
Your trees and shrubs should be trimmed or the front fence lowered to allow a clear view of your house. This will remove hiding places for the “would be” offender and improve your neighbour’s visibility should you need assistance.
Step 4: Backyard security
Consider putting up fences or other barriers, such as garage doors at either side of your home. This will make it more difficult for an offender to enter and work in the “safety” of your backyard. Also ensure that all tools are stored away and outbuildings are locked securely.
Step 5: Lighting
Good lighting, such as flood lamps, should be installed to minimize hiding spots for the “would be” offender, particularly while you are at home. “Motion sensor” or “reactive” lighting is excellent for this and is quite inexpensive to buy and install.
Step 6: Protect your power supply
Have a viewing window installed in the lid of your meter box, and an approved padlock or key lock installed. Circuit breaker switches installed within the home are also an advantage, but the meter box must still be locked.
Step 7: Door locks
Have door locks fitted without delay. Normal key in the knob locks, which are fitted to most homes, are a burglar’s delight. These locks must be backed up with a security lock. Fit a key operated lock (commonly referred to as a patio door bolt) to aluminium sliding doors. Do not rely upon manufacturer fitted locks or catches.
Step 8: Window locks
Windows that are not fitted with key operated locks are an easy target for offenders, and will offer little or no resistance. Key operated locks provide a much greater level of security than manufacturer fitted catches, there is a lock for every type of window. Remember; do not leave the keys in the locks.
Step 9: Security screens and doors
Have security screens fitted to the doors or portion of the windows that are left open for ventilation. This will prevent an offender from “walking in” on you. Remember, although security screens and doors increase your security, they are for use when you are at home. Ensure the doors are “key locked” as the latch (snib) device on many doors does not achieve maximum security.
Step 10: Alarms
Consider the installation of an approved burglar alarm. Intruders are far less likely to break into a house with an alarm system. An alarm will usually only tell you after an offender has entered your home. For immediate response to an alarm, the use of a monitoring service will make arrangements for your premises to be checked. All security products should be installed by licensed security installers.
Personal Safety in public places
Below are some general safety tips to protect yourself in public places:
• Walk in well-lit and busy areas. This provides more opportunity for natural surveillance.
• Avoid walking close to overgrown bushes or trees where a potential offender could hide.
• Walk against the flow of traffic to prevent vehicles driving slowly alongside you.
• Walk with a friend or group wherever possible.
• If you regularly walk by yourself, consider varying your route so your routine is not easily identified.
• Plan ahead – how are you going to get home?
• Walk at a steady pace. Body language is an effective means of promoting confidence.
• Remain alert and be aware of your surroundings.
• Turn down the volume on your iPod or mp3 player so you can hear what is happening around you
Don’t wait on the phone, save time and use our online reporting service for non-emergency reports such as:
Theft (excluding theft of passports)
Theft from vehicle
Mischief/Damage to property
Some incidents require an officer in person, while other reports can be taken over the phone by the Police Reporting Unit.
911 for emergency
613-230-6211 for other emergencies
613-236-1222 for non-emergency reports
TTY 613-760-8100 service for Deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing
For anonymous tips, contact Crime Stoppers
1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or crimestoppers.ca