(Simon the Safety Bear, Cst Wayne Chandler & Councillor Pootmans at Discovery Ridge Stampede Breakfast 2015).
Public safety is one of my top priorities in Ward 6. It is important to feel safe at home and there are several ways you can work with your neighbours to achieve a safe community. The community of Christie Park is providing a great example of grass-root level unity addressing crime in their community. Efforts of group organizers and neighbours have helped to establish the Christie Estates and Park Neighbourhood Watch Group which has quickly grown to include 110 families.
They have organized meetings, conducted a door flyer campaign, as well as developed several channels including a Facebook group to keep community members informed. The Federation of Calgary Communities (FCC) gave a presentation to the group about Building Safe Communities
and provided My Neighbour Cards
which encourages you to meet your neighbours and get their contact information to increase safety in your community. They offer several resources, education and workshops
available to any group upon request. Constable Wayne Chandler is the Calgary Police Service Community Resource Officer and addressed the Neighbourhood Watch Group at another meeting with me this summer. Please see his crime prevention tips and techniques to increase safety at your home and in your community. You can also sign up for community specific alerts at The Hub
Message from Constable Wayne Chandler
Ward 6 is generally a safe quiet place to live; however just as many other parts of the city, safe and quiet can be attractive to the opportunistic criminal specializing in property crime, and we have seen crime trends to support that fact. The good news is we have had some recent successes with arrests made and charges laid. As I like to say, we don’t solve every crime, but we do catch every criminal! Below is some information worth reading that can help secure your home and family even further and assist the police in the event something does happen.
Within Ward 6, and indeed within Calgary, we observe most property crime of opportunity are to insecurities, typically car prowling into unlocked vehicles and then sometimes into the associated residence with the garage remote.
• Ensure vehicles are locked when parked on the driveway or in the garage.
• Remove all valuables from the vehicle.
• Although garage remotes are designed to sit on the sun visor of the vehicle, I would advise keeping the remote in your purse or bag and not left in the vehicle.
• Lock the internal garage door.
• Don't consider your garage to be a secure place, remove valuable items or ensure they are locked (i.e. bikes chained to a fixed point).
• When at home ensure closed windows and doors are locked, especially if out in the back yard.
• At night close and lock all windows and doors especially those on ground level or where access is easy.
The message is keep it locked. This is your first line of defense!
Of course not all property crime is to unlocked vehicles / homes and there are ways residents can help prevent or deter criminals.
• Start with your neighbour. Burglars do not like to operate where neighbours watch out for each other. Get to know your neighbour and trade phone numbers / contact information.
• Trim trees and bushes that could hide burglars.
• Install exterior lights to dark areas around doors and windows, with motion sensors near the garage.
• Make sure emergency personnel can see your home from the front and rear, with your house number clearly displayed at the front.
• Put curtains or blinds in any garage window.
• Consider a monitored alarm system.
If away for an extended amount of time:
• Have a trusted friend or neighbour remove newspapers and flyers from the outside and take care of snow removal, grass cutting and general maintenance which indicate nobody is home.
• Have a trusted friend or neighbour, who have a way of contacting you, check your home regularly.
• If the overhead garage door has a roller and track, install a lock in the track to block the roller; disconnect or unplug your garage door opener.
• Consider the use of timers for lamps and radios to give the impression somebody is at home.
I would advise all to be vigilante, and if you see suspicious activity contact police, 403-266-1234 or if crime in progress, or threat to safety 911. The best way the public can assist the police is to be a good witness and report as soon as possible, but above all, do not put yourself in harm’s way to do this.
Be on the lookout for:
• Suspicious people or activities.
• Vehicles passing down street numerous times or suspiciously parked.
• Strangers in your neighborhood.
• Listen for yelling or screaming.
When reporting a suspicious person, take note of and write down as soon as practical:
• Build, weight & height
• Hair colour and length
• Face shape
• Eye color and shape
• Clothing type and colour
• Whether they are holding a weapon or object
When reporting a Suspicious Vehicle, take note of and write it down:
• License Plate
• # of occupants
• Body damage, bumper stickers, decals or other identifiers
As already stated, do not compromise yourself to get this information, and some of it may not be available given the circumstances. So whatever you can pass on to us is good information. But remember, is we don’t know about it, we can’t do anything about it.
Cst Wayne Chandler
Community Resource Officer
District 2, Zone 3
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.