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Crime Prevention Strategies & Tips
 Crime affects all of us. Be part of the solution!
bullet Auto and Bicyle Crime Prevention
bullet Graffiti
bullet Mail Theft
bullet Marijuana Grow Operations
bullet More Crime Prevention Tips
bullet Contact Information

Prevention of Auto and Bicycle Theft
The Port Coquitlam Community Police Volunteer Bike Patrol regularly patrols areas identified by crime analysis at high-risk for theft of or from vehicles and vandalism of property.

The purpose of the bike patrols is to reduce these types of crimes through increased visibility and presence in the community and by acting as trained eyes and ears for the police. It’s recommended that owners follow key crime prevention strategies to prevent vandalism and theft of private property.

These strategies include the following:

To help protect yourself from being a victim of bicycle theft you can take some important steps:

For further information on how to protect your vehicle and your bicycles visit www.icbc.com or visit one of the Port Coquitlam Community Police Stations.

Auto Break-Ins and Vehicle Theft

The majority of auto break-ins are the result of addicts looking for money and other valuables to sell in order to support their habit. In 2003, approximately 40,000 cars and trucks were stolen in British Columbia (30,000 of them from the Greater Vancouver area alone). In 2004, British Columbia saw the first significant decline in auto theft in over a decade with a 6% reduction overall and a 10% reduction in Greater Vancouver.

This reduction was the result of the implementation of the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team's (IMPACT) BAIT Car Program.

Statistics released by IMPACT show from January to June 2006 officers identified and targeted people and places (hot spots) that were involved in the majority of the crime in our communities. These actions brought auto theft down by 31% in Port Coquitlam.

What is a BAIT Car?
A bait car is a vehicle of any type that is owned by the police and is intended to be stolen. It is parked in high auto crime areas and left there, sometimes for an hour, other times for days. Once the vehicle is stolen, police are immediately dispatched to the moving bait car. The engine of the bait car is disabled remotely and the suspects are arrested. Everything that is said and done by the suspects inside the bait car is recorded on audio and video which is used for court purposes. The bait car program began in Greater Vancouver on May 1, 2004 and was expanded to Vancouver Island in April 2005. A further expansion to the interior of BC is underway.

What's the big deal? Isn't auto theft just a property crime?
No way. Shoplifting is a property crime, but auto theft poses a risk to public safety. Most car thieves are prohibited drivers and are under the influence of powerful street drugs, such as Crystal Meth, a drug that causes violent, unpredictable and paranoid behaviour. Many car thieves will flee at excessive speeds at just the sight of a police car and will put the public at extreme risk as they try to guide their 4000 pound speeding bullet into oncoming traffic, over curbs and through red lights. For the safety of ourselves and our children, we must take auto theft very seriously.
 
For further information on the BAIT Program and IMPACT, visit their website at www.BaitCar.com.

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Graffiti
What is graffiti?
Graffiti is the defacement of property through markings, designs, figures or words on any surface, building or structure without the consent of the owner. It can be painted, drawn, etched or scratched on the surface. It occurs anywhere the opportunity exists, including public and private buildings and vehicles.

Why should I care?

What can I do to prevent graffiti on my property?

What can I do if I have graffiti on my property?
React! - The sooner graffiti is removed, the less likely that location will be used for tagging again.
Report! – The occurrence needs to be reported to the police so they can take appropriate action. Community police station staff and volunteers can help you fill out a report and provide you resources on how to remove graffiti.
Remove! – Graffiti removal products and graffiti resistant paints are available at local hardware stores.

To find out more about Graffiti and Graffiti Removal Programs, click here

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Homelessness

Homeless camps have sprung up in our parks and other public lands in record numbers this year. According to research by the Hope For Freedom society, Port Coquitlam is the destination of choice for many people who feel that an outdoor camp is their last housing option. They are drawn here by our abundant green spaces and easy access to services – in other words, two of the very features that make Port Coquitlam an attractive place to live and work. Finding effective ways to help those in need break the cycle of homelessness is a challenge for all of us.

There is no doubt that some of the people camping on our public lands are responsible for an observed increase in property crime. It is never too early or too late to take action to prevent property crime, either as an individual or as part of a group. Community Policing offers offers many effective crime prevention programs such as Block Watch. To find out more, contact us at 604-927-2383.

It is also important to report crime directly to the RCMP, either while it is in progress (9-1-1) or as soon as possible thereafter (604-945-1550.) We all know that because of prior commitments the RCMP cannot always respond right away, but every report is valuable because it helps show where the problems are occurring.

To find out more about homelessness in British Columbia and what you can do to help, visit www.stophomelessness.ca.

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Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Identity theft is a serious crime that may take many forms but the objective of the identity thief is always to make a profit at your expense. Be vigilant in preventing this issue by taking precautions to reduce your risk of being a victim of Identity Theft.

Many of us think "it will never happen to me," but thousands of people are victims of identity theft each year. Identity theft is the unauthorized collection and use of your personal information to commit fraud or theft. Your name, date of birth or social insurance number may be used to open bank accounts or credit cards, rent vehicles or equipment, or secure employment.

There are several ways people can access your personal information, including stealing your mail, purse, or wallet, intercepting your garbage, committing ATM fraud, or using the Internet.

Here are a few tips to help you safeguard your identity:

If your credit card statements are missing, you notice purchases on them that you did not authorize, or you learn of a credit application that you did not make, then you may be a victim of identity theft. If you think you are a victim of identity theft, notify your bank and credit card companies immediately and contact the police. The best defense against identity theft is to make yourself a harder target by using your personal information carefully.

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Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is a serious issue in the province of British Columbia. Every year 200 people are killed by drunk drivers and nearly 6,000 are injured in our province alone.

Currently it is a criminal offense to drive with a blood alcohol concentration in excess of .08%.  This July and August, police are stepping up roadchecks to catch impaired drivers. Even if you’ve had a couple of drinks, it’s not OK to drive.

BC’s tough new drinking and driving laws take effect this fall and harsher penalties will begin at .05 BAC. We’re reminding everyone, before you take that first sip, make a smart choice: designate a driver, save money for a cab or take transit.

We are all ambassadors for the CounterAttack campaign, and can help to influence others by encouraging people to make smart choices. When your ‘re celebrating or relaxing with friends, help to keep our roads safe and have an enjoyable summer. 

This limit is strictly enforced by municipal police and the RCMP. A range of penalties exist for your first impaired driving charge, starting from a twenty-four hour suspension of your license, to a one year suspension of your driving privileges. The penalties increase dramatically with your second and third offense, and you may lose your license for 3 years or more. You may even lose it indefinitely. These penalties may also come with fines and you may be found liable in civil court if your impaired driving causes injury to other drivers or pedestrians.

If you are planning to consume liquor, it is important to plan your mode of transportation home before you start drinking. You can call a taxi, take public transit, or choose a designated driver. During the Christmas season, a program called Operation Red Nose (www.operationnezrouge.com ) operates in many municipalities in the Lower Mainland, offering free rides home after particularly "merry" Christmas parties. If making the conscious choice to drive home, it is crucial to wait the appropriate time frame for your body to process this alcohol. As a rule, alcohol is usually eliminated from the body at a rate of 7mL to 12mL per hour; this is roughly the same amount of alcohol in a glass of beer or a highball. A glass of wine will have more alcohol, usually within the 15mL to 17mL range.
 
It is crucial to note that time is the only method of sobering up. Drinking coffee, eating food, or consuming other homemade concoctions are not effective methods.

Please use common sense and exercise caution when consuming any amount of alcohol and operating a motor vehicle, and remember that this activity can lead to death and serious injury, not just to you, but to other innocent victims as well.

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Minimizing the Risk of Mail Theft

Theft of mail is an invasion into your private life. Your mail contains a wealth of information that can lead to financial loss and considerable inconvenience if attained by the wrong hands. It could also lead to the loss of your identity. (See Identity Theft above.)

Mail theft cannot be prevented entirely, but you can minimize the opportunities with the following steps:

These are just a few steps to protect your mail. More information can be obtained at the Port Coquitlam Community Police Stations.

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Marijuana Grow Operations

Marijuana Grow Operations are on the rise in British Columbia. "Grow Ops" pose a serious risk to public safety: these illegal marijuana crops set up in homes or apartments pose a fire hazard, health hazard and are often the site of violent crime. Learn how to spot the signs of a grow op in your neighbourhood so that you can report any suspicious activity to your local police department or CrimeStoppers.

What is a 'grow op'?

Facts About Grow Ops

Safety Risks

How to Spot a Grow Op

What to do?

If you think there could be a grow-op in your neighborhood, contact Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550.  If you wish to report a crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or leave a secure tip online at www.bccrimestoppers.com.

For more information about how to spot grow operations visit:

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Parking Lot Safety

The best way to keep yourself safe is to be aware of your surroundings and avoid putting yourself in a situation where you can become victimized.

Here are some safety tips to help you avoid dangerous situations in a parking lot:

Remember think smart and park safe!

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More Crime Prevention Tips

Contact Information

Downtown Community Police Office
2581 Mary Hill Road
Port Coquitlam BC V3C 4X3
Tel 604.927.2383

Northside Community Police Office
3312 Coast Meridian Road
Port Coquitlam BC V3B 3N5
Tel 604-927-5172

RCMP Main Detachment
2986 Guilford Way
Coquitlam BC V3B 7Y5
Tel 604.945.1550

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Last Updated:5/2/2014 3:10:02 PM