Tips for keeping your property and neighbourhood safe

Property crime is a concern for everyone and crime prevention is a community commitment. These tips can help residents keep their property safe and reduce the risk of property crime. Remember that criminals prey on opportunity, so help remove that opportunity! Spruce Grove is a strong community and by working together, we can build on those strengths to continue keeping this a safe, vibrant and welcoming city.

Lock it

Lock your garage, your vehicles and your home - even when you are home. It may sound obvious, but many criminals will check to see if doors are unlocked, giving them an easy opportunity to strike. Also, whether or not you have a security system or a dog, put up signs warning people about both. If everything is locked up and criminals are faced with the prospect of additional deterrents, most will move on.

Secure it

Install additional security locks on exterior doors and windows and don't forget about surveillance! When possible, install devices that permit sight to the other side, such as chain link fences, and keep shrubs and bushes trimmed below ground level windows and trees pruned above eye level to eliminate areas of potential concealment. Consider installing a security system as an additional deterrent.

Light it

Turn on your lights! Use timers on your lights when you're away from your home or business so they appear occupied. At night, use outdoor lighting to enhance illumination in dark areas around your property where an intruder might hide, such as stairwells, alleys and hallways. Install motion lights and/or cameras at all entrances and turn your porch lights on at night.

Hide it

Install and use blinds and curtains to prevent people from seeing inside your home, especially at night. Protect yourself, your belongings and your privacy with good quality window coverings. Consider frosted treatments on garage windows, which will still allow in natural light, but prevent people from seeing inside your garage. And don't "hide" spare keys under a doormat or in a planter; keep them with a trusted neighbour or nearby business.

Remove it

Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially a wallet or purse. Take any electronics, such as cell phones, tablets and laptops inside with you, including your remote garage door opener. In many cases, criminals will enter a vehicle for the sole purpose of stealing your garage door opener in hopes of gaining access to your garage and, subsequently, your home.

Also be cautious about placing boxes from big ticket items, such as a new television, out for recycling as this can be an invitation to thieves who now know exactly what's in your home. Consider placing them out the morning of recycling collection, rather than the day or night before, to minimize their visibility, or remove them entirely and take them directly to the Eco Centre for free disposal.

Share it

Introduce yourself to your neighbours, as neighbours who know each other watch out for one another. Organize a block party to get to know other people who live on your street. Consider setting up (or joining!) a page on social media for your subdivision as a way to communicate and share information with one another. But keep in mind you need to be cautious about what you share on social media sites - even if it's considered a friendly or helpful group. Divulging too much personal information can potentially put you and your property at risk, as there is no way to know or control the intentions of other social media group members.

Do not share or discuss personal information, such as upcoming vacations or when you, or other family members, will be away from your home, on social media. Advertising when you are going to be away from your property for an extended period of time is like hanging a "come on in" sign on your door for thieves. Personal information like this should only be shared with a trusted neighbour, friend or family member who can keep an eye on your property while you're away.

Report it

See something suspicious? If it's an emergency or crime in progress, call 9-1-1. For all other calls, contact the RCMP at 780-962-2222. If you have information, but would prefer to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or report it online at www.tipsubmit.com External.