While crime rates have dropped in the community since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Crossfield residents are being encouraged to employ precautions to further prevent crime.
According to Beiseker RCMP's Cpl. Lief Svendsen, continuing to lock doors, leaving lights on, and closing garage doors are a few tips residents can heed to keep crime away from their community.
Svendsen, who is acting supervisor for the Airdrie RCMP Beiseker detachment, spoke as a delegate at a regular Crossfield Town council meeting on July 20. During his quarterly update, he advised council that, while the overall number of crime incidents in the community is down, he wanted to be proactive about a small pattern of car theft occurrences around town.
“If we can just relay to the community to lock your doors [and] remove your valuables, because the call volume will be significantly reduced if we do that,” he said. “The majority of vehicles that are coming through are unlocked.”
He said that while the numbers are low compared to last quarter and no major crime patterns were detected, data indicated 10 vehicles were unlawfully entered into over the course of one Saturday night.
He said this was a case of someone walking along and checking door handles for easy access to unlocked vehicles.
“The people in my neighbourhood, in Airdrie, they go through our car doors in my neighbourhood,” Svendsen said. “Once, we were victimized [and] it was our fault for leaving it open... it could have been worse.”
“People have been leaving wallets and purses inside the vehicles and that is unfortunately something we should not be doing,” he said. "When the vehicle is unlocked, of course that’s what’s going to happen – they're going to steal all your [valuables].”
Other crime mitigation efforts residents should employ include leaving lights on when not at home, and remembering to close garage doors, Svendsen noted.
“[The aim is to] take soft targets away from people who are looking through cars trying to score a few bucks,” he said.
Mayor Jo Tennant suggested a social media blitz or communications campaign could be employed at a local level to help encourage Crossfieldians to lock their car doors.
“I feel like we’ve told people that [in the past] and you can always continue to tell people that,” she said. “That’s definitely something to remind people of.”
Deputy Mayor Kim Harris added to that point, suggesting the Town’s communications team work alongside the Beiseker detachment to come up with a campaign or statement letter to the public.
“I think if it has the RCMP logo on it, it will catch people’s attention more than if it’s just a blurb headed up by the Town of Crossfield,” she said. “We’re kind of in this together and we need to be helping each other get the message across for our residents.”
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