Reducing crime and preventing residents from becoming victims of crime are top priorities for the RCMP again this year. (File photo)

RCMP sets out priority list for 2019

Reducing crime, preventing residents from becoming crime victims are high priorities again this year

Do you feel safe in your neighbourhood?

Supt. Ted De Jager, Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen Regional Detachment commander, attended Keremeos village council Monday night, discussing the RCMP’s priorities in the region for the upcoming year.

With property crime increasing throughout the South Okanagan and Similkameen region, De Jager said reducing crime and preventing residents from becoming victims of crime both top the list this year.

READ MORE: More thefts in the downtown Penticton area

But there are some easy, yet effective safeguarding residents can do to prevent property crime, he said.

De Jager suggests removing all valuables from unattended cars and ensuring car doors are locked at night. He also recommends keeping car keys in the bedroom instead of downstairs near the back door.

“Even if someone were to break to the house while I’m there and I don’t know, they are not getting the keys without my knowing it,” he said.

He added that crimes that involve entering the house, including the bedroom, would be a home invasion, which “are typically very targeted, and not random. We just don’t see that,” he said.

De Jager also recommends what he calls the 9 p.m. routine, which is a checklist for people to do before they go to bed, including going around the house and locking all doors.

This includes closing the overhead garage door, locking the door between the garage and house, and closing and locking all external doors, he said.

READ MORE: Break-ins, broken windows: Downtown Penticton sees overnight rise in crime

The same concept applies to businesses. But De Jager encourages business owners to reach out to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) for advice about how to keep their property safe.

“Those people can come out and give good ideas about how to protect property, to make sure a business has proper gates and that sort of thing to prevent break and enters in the future,” he said “Alarm systems, high-definition video that gets cheaper and cheaper. Those are all things we’re recommending to people that they start to look at.”

In addition to reducing crime and preventing residents from becoming crime victims, De Jager said road safety is a high priority for RCMP in the annual performance plan.

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Robin Grand
Reporter, Penticton Western News
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