Holiday Presents and Protection, Councillor Jan Harder

Getting presents, holiday parties, work, decorating, waiting, traffic, all of these things conspire to use up all of our time during December. Sometimes we try to take shortcuts. Constable Lemieux of the Ottawa Police has kindly provided advice to residents on keeping you valuable safe during Christmas and the Holiday season. Some of the advice is common sense, but when we are in a rush over the holidays, we sometimes cut corners on our own safety to save time. Heck, sometimes we just forget! Please take the recommendations below to heart, and keep you and yours safe this season.

During the holiday season thefts from vehicles become a problem. By taking simple preventative measures such as ensuring your vehicle is completely locked and by either placing items of value out of sight or removing valuable items from your vehicle altogether, much of it can be avoided.
Ottawa Police Officers are often seen in the community placing the “All Valuables Removed” cards on parked vehicles. This bright yellow card is a crime prevention initiative that contains important information on how to protect your property by providing tips to prevent vehicle theft and theft from vehicles, as well as important numbers to call if this happens to you. When this card is placed inside the driver’s side window, it advertises the fact that you are a part of a crime prevention initiative and that there is nothing of value in the vehicle, thus assisting in deterring any potential victimization.

It is imperative that people always report to police when they are victimized, no matter how minor the incident is. If your car is broken into and nothing is stolen or damaged, Police still need to know because our Crime Analysts use this reported data along with all other crime to build strategies for our officers to tackle these problems in a more effective way. Often these crimes do not occur in isolation, but are often committed by the same individuals or groups whom we may be aware of already. When these crimes are not reported to police, the police are blind to strategically respond.

“Lock It or Lose It” is an award winning crime prevention initiative developed with the support of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). With the assistance of the OACP (Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police), this initiative is aimed at encouraging drivers to take simple precautions to help prevent crime and victimization.

With the holiday season upon us, the Ottawa Police Service is encouraging motorists and passengers to “Lock it Down.” Remove valuables and shopping bags from view; this includes spare change and electronic devices. Most importantly call the Ottawa Police to report any suspicious persons or incidents whether or not property was stolen or damaged.

To obtain an “All Valuables Removed” card or to get involved in crime prevention, you can contact your local Community Police Centre or visit www.ottawapolice.ca.

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