We have received several reports from neighbours around Strathcona about recent break-in attempts, especially in the early morning hours. This rise in attempted break-ins usually happens in the summer, but it seems to be earlier this year.
This is especially worrisome in light of the violent assault on Hawks Avenue in late March, and the fire on Hastings http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/2-dead-in-fire-on-hastings-street-in-east-vancouver-1.3030302. Thank you to those neighbours who have been writing City Council urging them to insist that vacant buildings in the area are monitored by security guards to make sure further tragedies such as this can be prevented.
What else should we be doing?
At the bottom of this e-mail we have listed the top ten safety tips as compile by the SRA Safety & Security Committee a few years back. But remember that every suspicious incident, whether in progress or after the fact, serious or minor, should be reported to the police. Reports made from Strathcona to the VPD directly influence the amount of police presence we have in the neighbourhood. So even if you discover an item was stolen from your front porch in the middle of the night, and you don’t think there is anything you can do to recover it or catch the thief, REPORT IT.
Crime, dangerous or suspicious activity in progress: CALL 911
Incident already occurred and no one is in danger: CALL 604.717.3321 (non- emergency line)
Please send all your feedback (good or bad) about calling these two numbers, to our neighbourhood Police Officer Constable Graham Edmonds firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-717-9559
Forward this e-mail to neighbours and ask them to subscribe to the SRA news: http://strathcona-residents.org (subscribe in the top right corner of the SRA website homepage) to stay up to date with the latest safety alerts.
Consider volunteering at the Chinatown Community Policing Centre. A few Strathcona residents have signed up to help with the CCPC’s patrols which cover Strathcona as well: http://vancouver.ca/police/community-policing/index.html. Speak to Constable Edmonds to arrange this email@example.com or 604-717-9559
Come out to our next SRA meeting on Wednesday, May 6th 7:15 pm at the Strathcona Community Centre (601 Keefer). We will be discussing assertive strategies for improving the worrisome imbalance and vulnerability our neighbourhood is experiencing. A detailed agenda will follow in a later e-mail.
Top ten safety tips:
1. Lock it Up Lock doors and windows both when you are home and when you leave, even just for 5 minutes to the corner store. Invest in a good quality deadbolt lock.
2. Out of Sight Out of Mind Valuables left in view and/or in reach make for a perfect “smash and grab”. Use curtains and blinds for discretion.
2. Bon Voyage Notify your trusted neighbours if you are going away and leave a key with someone in case of an emergency.
4. You Light Up my Life Interior and exterior lights, radios and even
Christmas lights can be programmed on a timer to go on when you are not home.
5. Mystery Person Question the intention and identity of unknown people or suspicious activity.
6. His Bark is Worse than his Bite If you have an alarm or a dog, make it obvious using signage or stickers. Activate your alarm even when you are going out just for a few minutes.
7. Dancing in the Dark Exterior motion sensor lights are a great deterrent and don’t use a lot of energy. Routinely check them to make sure they are working.
8. The Gift that keeps on Giving Limit expensive product packaging in your recycling bin. It’s a dead give away to the current contents of your home.
9. Tool Time Tips Keep all tools out of sight. Your own ladder, shovel, hammer or garden tools, if left outside, can encourage and facilitate theft.
10. Call Me Anytime Report all theft, break-ins and suspicious activity (big or small) to the police. Only reporting gives the police a true picture of the crime rate in our neighbourhood and allows them to adjust police presence accordingly. Call 911, or 604.717.3321 after the fact or if it is not urgent. Also, share your knowledge, news and concerns around neighbourhood safety and security with your neighbours, and with the SRA, to keep everyone in the loop.
Looking forward to seeing everyone around as the weather gets nice!