Tackling crime is a team effort Empowering residents to take an active role in crime prevention

The City of Edmonton and Edmonton Police Service hosted a “Connecting Community for Safety” event at Alberta Avenue in March. This event helped connect residents as well as encourage and empower them to take an active role in crime prevention.

Residents had an opportunity to share their stories, thoughts and ideas around crime and safety in small groups. Afterwards, Community Liaison Constable Jeff Thomsen and Community Safety Liaison Gurjeet Sangha encouraged a four-pronged approach to crime prevention: empower, connect, prevent, report.

Thomsen wants residents to know that they are essential in fighting crime. What residents do (or don’t do) makes a huge difference. The most effective strategy in preventing crime is what police call “target hardening”.

The majority of crimes are crimes of opportunity. Criminals are looking for an easy target. The most effective crime prevention is still the simplest and least expensive. Lock your vehicles, remove all valuables, put on a steering wheel lock. Upgrade locks on houses, garage doors, and windows. Install security lights.

“If you do this, the criminals will move on to the next house. If all your neighbours do these things too, then they will move on to the next block. If your whole neighbourhood does this, then criminals will quickly learn to go somewhere else,” says Thomsen.

ACTION

Put up a lawn sign

Why? To show criminals that this block and neighbourhood is connected, is watching, and will report suspicious activity and crime. If you would like a lawn sign, contact Sangha at 780.499.8987 or gurjeet.sangha@edmonton.ca.

Report crime

Clip the phone numbers on this page and put them near your phone. A “Reporting Problems in Your Community” postcard is also available at Alberta Avenue or from Gurjeet.

Check out Neighbourhood Watch

Go to enwatch.ca for information and resources on crime prevention. Register for the Walk your Block program. Check if your league has a Neighbourhood Watch community representative. If not, think about becoming one.

Meet neighbours

Local neighbourhood events and even larger community events are great places to bump into other residents and make connections. Enjoy music around the campfire with neighbours at Phoenix Night on April 2 from 7-11 p.m. at Parkdale hall. Check out the Alberta Avenue Annual General Meeting on April 12 for a preview of their neighbour engagement resources. Network with home-based businesses in Eastwood on April 21 at 5 p.m. Deltonites go bowling on April 23. Find treasures and friends at Spruce Avenue’s Garage Sale on April 29. Enjoy a spring barbecue and safety fair in Elmwood Park on May 7.

Visit with Jeff & Gurjeet

Tuesday, April 5, 10 a.m. at The Carrot.

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