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Tips to safeguard against violent crimes

Posted: May 30, 2019

Sgt. Tom Wallach of the East St. Paul RCMP is providing the RM with safety tips to share with our residents. This month Wallach gives tips to safeguard against violent crimes. 

Recent serious events in the RM’s of St. Clements and St. Andrews have heightened the public’s awareness that violent incidents are not isolated to large urban centers. 

Though the investigations into these recent incidents – which involved home break-ins and serious physical assaults - are progressing and remain ongoing, and police patrols have been increased throughout the area, many residents are understandably concerned for their safety. 

This has resulted in a number of questions regarding what can be done to reduce the chances of becoming the victim of similar type incidents as well as what a person should do if they find themselves a target.

The following are just a few suggestions of preventative measures that can and should be undertaken:   

Don’t leave valuable items on display on your property;

Don’t leave valuables in open view in your vehicle, or at all if possible;

Keep your vehicle locked at all times, whether moving or parked;

Keep all entrances and driveways well lit at night;

Close your blinds / curtains after dark;

Trim back hedges situated near your house and windows or avoid them altogether, they could provide potential intruders with a hiding place; 

Never leave your door propped open and always keep garage doors closed and secured;

Install good quality locks and always use them;

Always lock windows that are accessible from the outside;

Consider installing a good quality monitored security system and security cameras;

Never open a door to strangers until you are sure who they are;

Consider installing a wide-angle viewer in your door to allow you to see visitors before you open your door;

Be cautious of unknown persons approaching while you are in your vehicle and don’t leave your vehicle if you feel uncomfortable.  If you feel you are in danger or if you feel threatened, press your horn repeatedly or activate your vehicle panic alarm to attract attention;

If you think you’re being followed don’t drive to your home, call police and drive to a safe public place or police station and stay in your vehicle;

Look out for yourself and your community by reporting any and all suspicious activity or persons as soon as possible;

Support and become involved with your local Citizens On Patrol Program (COPP).

If you are away from your home or property and return to find signs of forcible entry or anything causing you to feel unsure, do not enter, back away and call police immediately.  The intruder could still be inside.  Also, if you witness somebody breaking into a premise, building or vehicle, regardless of whose property it is, call 911 immediately and provide as much description as possible. Monitor the situation from a safe location if possible and provide updates to the 911 dispatcher. Do not approach or confront the individuals involved.   

Should you find yourself in a situation of having an intruder attempting to gain entry to your home or property call 911 immediately and stay on the line, don’t hang up if at all possible.  

Serious calls of this nature are dispatched immediately with all available units responding, help will arrive as quickly as possible. 

Provide the 911 operator with as much information as you can including the number of intruders, any visible weapons, if you are alone or number of people in the home with you and where you are in the home if you have hidden or have secured yourself in a room. 

If your vehicle is equipped with an alarm and parked in your driveway or garage and you have access to your vehicle remote, activate the vehicle panic alarm. Activating it may cause the intruders to abandon their attempts as it will bring attention to your location.

The final, and most important piece of advice, if you find yourself confronted by an intruder in your home or person(s) attempting to rob you in any place, COOPERATE! Your well-being and life is far more valuable than your property.

- East St. Paul RCMP Sgt. Tom Wallach


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