Senseless acts of vandalism cost everyone

When you have been working in the field of community-based crime prevention and security for as long as I have there is one thing you never get used to – senseless acts of vandalism.

Fact is, it costs all of us and in more ways than we realize. It ranges from graffiti and broken windows to egging and paint balling property. The list is long and is only limited by the thoughtless perpetrators who have nothing better to do with their time.

It’s not just the hard costs we all pay for but the impact it has on how we function day to day and even how we feel.

After residing in Red Deer for the past seven years, my wife and I recently moved to the Town of Penhold. Within the first few weeks, we received a warm welcome from vandals that proceeded to “puncture” all the tires on my vehicle.

Considering I waited four hours for a flatbed tow truck, had no vehicle while it was being repaired and the insurance claim, it was a costly incident. Town officials and the Innisfail RCMP were quick to respond. However, they understand, as I do that these types of incidents are random and the culprits are rarely apprehended.

In cases such as this and many others, the very fabric of a community is torn and the best course of action is education and awareness through preventative measures. Citizens must realize that there is strength in numbers and their ongoing vigilance is required at all times.

We should be watching out for each other and “acting” quickly when we have valuable information that will help the police or various agencies that help protect our interests and our property. That means reporting all crimes and doing it promptly! It does not mean placing ourselves at risk – call the police!

The costs we don’t always consider are those that manifest fear or those that lead to insurance rate hikes as a result of on-going claims for property crimes. A great example is graffiti. Areas covered by graffiti make some people feel that it’s not safe to be there. This can and does affect local business owners and potential customers that may shop elsewhere.

There are many solutions or best practices but we need to explore them carefully and then take action. For example, removing graffiti from property quickly is a best practice that works! What’s important is consistency and taking ownership in what is ours. If your property is not well taken care of, it will be a target for vandals!

While attending college and studying police science and criminology I clearly recall the Principles of Policing, developed by Sir Robert Peel (1788 – 1850). Peel’s most quotable principle states that “The police are the public and the public are the police.”

If you think about it, it’s a great philosophy because as members of the general public we should be playing an important role in creating safe communities and neighbourhoods.

We need to be the eyes and the ears and keep our streets free of crime. Most of us are not police officers but we can help make a difference and become partners in crime prevention. It’s not about how well we work alone, but how well we all work together!

Steve Woolrich is the director of SeCure Consulting Solutions Inc. – www.targetcrime.ca

Just Posted

WATCH: Mellisa Hollingsworth highlights Special Olympics Celebrity Breakfast

Olympic Bronze Medalist from Central Alberta shared her journey with a packed house

Court full as schools, parents dispute Alberta gay-straight alliance law

Justice Centre argues keeping parents out of the loop violates freedom of religion and expression

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

WATCH: Over 10,000 lbs of pet food given out to help Red Deer’s vulnerable

Alberta Animal Services and Red Deer Food Bank’s Kitchen Kibble will feed hundreds

Local coalition seeks to bolster youngsters’ development

‘Strengthening Positive Assets Resiliency in Communities’ supports local families

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

Humboldt survivors to attend NHL Awards

Players say it’s a blessing to be back together again

Justice minister: marijuana still illegal for now

Driving under the influence of drugs has always been — and will remain — against the law

Crown recommends 150 years for Quebec mosque shooter

Crown lawyers say Alexandre Bissonnette deserves to receive the longest sentence in Canadian history

192 missing after ferry sinks in Indonesia

Divers are searching an Indonesian lake after a ferry sank earlier this week

No clear plan yet on how to reunite parents with children

A lawyer has documented more than 300 cases of adults who have been separated from a child

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Most Read