Victoria police Const. Matt Rutherford, left, and traffic division officer Const. Cody Lapierre encourage people to pay special attention to things like leaving valuables in clear sight in vehicles, and drinking and driving during the Christmas season. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

VicPD offer theft avoidance, other tips for the holiday season

Safe rides home, keeping valuables locked away important to remember

The holiday season is quickly approaching, so it is a good time to be reminded by the common things we at the Victoria Police Department see at this time of the year.

When shopping in and around the downtown area, it’s important to remember not to leave valuables in your vehicles. Theft from vehicles is a crime of opportunity that we see often during the holiday shopping season. When you eliminate the opportunity, your chance of having your car broken into is minimized.

Our reserve constables and volunteers will be continuing their involvement with the Lock Out Auto Crime (LOAC) program. In years past, this program has been a great way to educate people on how to prevent theft from vehicles. They regularly see money, smart phones, laptops and other expensive electronics all in plain view, alongside recently purchased presents and gifts. If you find a LOAC notice on your vehicle this holiday season, our volunteers were there to help remind you how you can reduce the chance of theft from your vehicle.

Over the past few months, we have seen an increase of theft from vehicles in the downtown area, including in parkades. The majority of the thefts involved an expensive electronic item that was left in a vehicle.

November also marks the beginning of our drinking and driving counter attack holiday campaign.

Unfortunately, we still find people driving impaired by either drugs or alcohol in our community. It’s important that everybody has a safe holiday season, so please plan ahead and get home safely.

The winter weather sometimes includes snow and with snow, comes slippery driving conditions. It is important to slow down and keep your distance. Stopping time increases in icy weather and it is important to make every effort to prevent collisions. You also should make sure the snow and ice are removed from your vehicle before you begin your drive.

Here at VicPD, we have utilized Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) as a comprehensive, practical approach to crime prevention. By making simple physical changes to the environment around your residence or business, you can drastically reduce or eliminate criminal behaviour. These changes reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime. For more information and to learn how to protect your business or residence, visit our website at www.vicpd.ca/CPTED.

Const. Matt Rutherford is spokesperson and social media officer for the Victoria Police Department.

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