In Canada, Crime Prevention Week began in November, 1983 and the Alberta government began acknowledging the week with a provincial focus in 1992. At the request of Alberta police services, Crime Prevention Week was moved to the month of May to coincide with National Police week in 1993.
The purpose of Crime Prevention Week is to raise awareness of crime prevention strategies and educate individuals, groups and organizations on how they can improve safety in their communities and also what they can do to help prevent crime from happening.
According to https://www.alberta.ca/crime-prevention certain negative factors, circumstances and influencers can increase the likelihood of a person committing a crime. The factors can be complex and wide-ranging and can be unique to an individual or represent a broader societal issue. Risk factors include: education levels, change in family situations, unemployment and low income, alcohol and drug problems, shifting societal values, increased migration to cities, and changes within communities where fewer people know each other.
It is said that by recognizing risk factors that contribute to crime, communities can use proactive measures to help reduce crime in their area. Some ways to help prevent crime are to promote the well-being of individuals and encourage pro-social behaviour through cultural, social, economic, health and educational programs and initiatives. Changing the social conditions that minimize the benefits of crime while increasing the likelihood of criminals being apprehended can lead to less offenses being committed. Community residents can also take it upon themselves to reduce the opportunities for criminals to commit the crime by adding additional safeguards around their homes. The Alberta RCMP recently released a statement stating that in 2020 there were 6,987 Break and Enters to homes, outbuildings, and cottages, an 18 per cent decrease from the same time in 2019 which had 8,517. The report said that Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles when planning home and business renovations and property maintenance could help the positive decrease continue.
The Alberta RCMP release suggests using lighting to deter criminals by installing motion sensor lights or LED lights in dark corners or key areas around your property. Maximizing visibility is also a good idea. This can be done by installing good surveillance with clear sight lines from inside your house to the curb, as well as through trimmed trees and foliage. Keeping doors and windows locked is also a good practice with deadbolt locks recommended. Lastly, they say having a perimeter fence or border such as hedges and shrubbery with a closed gate can help create a property barrier.
For more tips and information, visit the Alberta RCMP CPTED video playlist on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcKXZtPXANcruAdyWOrXnHqQ3DdG_hcd7
Follow our social media accounts on Twitter @RCMPAlberta, Facebook @RCMPinAlberta, YouTube @RCMP-GRC Alberta, and check out #CPTED online for more tips.
RCMP encourage the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity to police. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future. If you see a crime in progress, dial 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.