As we're all aware there has been an unfortunate spike in crime in our area over the past few weeks. Items have been stolen from houses and cars as well as graffiti and vandalism all over the community.
We have been in touch with both Jan Harder's office and our Community Police Officer Cst. Timothy Murray about these issues. Jan's office was able to have the graffiti removed immediately, and Constable Murray has requested extra patrols be assigned to our area.
There are ways that we as a community can help make the area more secure:
Turn on your outdoor lights
Leaving your outdoor lights on at night will give criminals and vandals fewer places to hide and commit the crime.
Keep an eye out and report suspicious activity
Keeping an eye out can be as simple as helping your neighbour out by checking on their house while they're on vacation, going for a walk, or peeking out your window.
While on a walk, say "hi" to everyone you meet. Chances are you'll be speaking to a neighbour, but if someone is in the neighbourhood planning to commit a crime, they will then know that someone has seen their face and acknowledged their presence. This technique is sometimes taught to employees in retail stores for loss prevention and can be quite effective. If nothing else we'll be quite a friendly community!
If you happen to see a crime in progress, do not get involved, but rather remain a witness, record details, and call 911 immediately. If you see something suspicious call the Ottawa Police "Other Emergencies" line at 613-230-6211.
Constable Murray gave us the following information about Citizen Foot Patrols. "...residents are perfectly within their rights to actively walk through their community in an effort to deter crime. Should they observe a crime in progress, the Ottawa Police recommends that they do not get involved and instead remain a witness and call 911. Should they observe suspicious people, the Ottawa Police Service recommends that they call police immediately at 613-230-6211."
If you decide to form a foot patrol please keep these tips in mind:
- Work in pairs, do not go alone
- Bring a flashlight
- Bring a cell phone
- Bring a camera and/or notepad to record details such as a description of the individual or vehicle involved
- Most importantly, DO NOT approach a criminal if you see a crime in progress. Remain a witness and call 911 immediately. Give the officers as much information as you can.
Safety and Prevention Tips
The Ottawa Police has a comprehensive list of safety and prevention tips on their website for Personal Safety and Home & Neighbourhood Safety. Visit their website now to read this important safety information.
They have also provided these helpful documents:
You can also find more excellent information in the Crime Prevention Ottawa Toolkit.
How the Ottawa Police are helping us
- Electronic distribution of crime prevention tips to the HMBCA (see above).
- A General Broadcast requesting extra late night patrols was submitted.
- The thefts from vehicles in Half Moon Bay were highlighted in the West Division District Activity Report. This report is disseminated to all units in West Division.
- The District Activity report will be updated to include acts of vandalism and Break & Enters.
- Today, 26 July 2013, student employee’s of the Ottawa Police Service attended the community of Half Moon Bay and personally delivered approximately 330 crime prevention packages to individual residences.
If you have other concerns please do not hesitate to contact us at hmbca.ca/contact.