Crime Prevention Tips

Avoid Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft

Please see this video that aired on SPD TV on Cable Channel 5

Article – Prevent Identity Theft From Happening to You


Easy Steps to Stop Vehicle Prowling

1. Put your junk in the trunk

2. Take your valuables in the house

3. When shopping refer to # 1

4. Park your car in a well lighted and/or in a high traffic area

5. Keep you car doors locked

6. If you see someone in your car call 911

7. Report suspicious activity call 911(get the suspect’s license number)

8. If you have already been prowled (Call Crime Check 456-2233)


Crime Prevention Concepts and Structures

Accompanying community policing, is the development of a proactive approach to crime prevention.  The most strenuous efforts by the police alone will not produce the desired results if the community stands by passively in the erroneous belief that crime is purely a police responsibility.  The community must accept that the task of crime prevention is as much a community responsibility as it is a police responsibility, and must join hands with the police to make crime prevention effective.

Crime prevention education makes the community aware that:

  • They are personally responsible for the safety of their property and themselves, and for the safety of their neighborhoods.
  • Many crimes are opportunistic in nature and are committed through the negligence and carelessness of the victims.  Crime is prevented if the opportunity is denied or delayed.
  • They can prevent crimes by taking simple and effective measures on their own or in cooperation with their neighbors.
  • Crime prevention measures must be commensurate with the threat.
  • Effective protection will not come from any single measure, but from the sum total of all practical and possible measures.

Burglary Prevention

Each year in the U.S. there are more than five million home burglaries. In Spokane alone, there was a 40% increase in burglaries just between July and August 2009.  Nine out of ten of these crimes are preventable.  The risk of being burglarized can be greatly reduced by taking simple steps to make your home more difficult to enter and less enticing to would-be burglars. Remember the greatest weapons in the fight to prevent burglaries are light, time and noise.   Starting an organized Block Watch is a must!

Light
  • Make sure that exterior lights are mounted out of reach, so that burglars can’t easily unscrew bulbs.
  • Consider buying motion-sensitive lights, which are now available at relatively low prices.
  • Use a variable light timer to activate lights inside your home.
  • Trim trees and shrubs near doors and windows so burglars can’t hide in the shadows
Time – Make it time-consuming for a burglar to break into your home by :
  • installing deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
  • installing double key locks in doors which contain glass. This will keep a burglar from being able to open the door simply by breaking the glass and reaching through. (Note: so that everyone in the house can get out in the event of a fire, be sure to keep the key in designated place).
  • placing additional locks on all windows and patio doors.
Noise
  • Get a dog. You don’t need a large attack dog; even a small dog creates a disturbance that burglars would prefer to avoid. Remember to License and Vaccinate it.
  • Consider having someone care for your dogs in your home while you’re away, instead of boarding them.
  • If you can afford it, install an alarm system that will alert neighbors of a burglar’s presence. Most systems can even summon local police directly. Don’t forget to check the Alarm Code.

Other tips to prevent break-ins

Think like a burglar. “Case” your home the way a burglar would and look for easy ways to enter your home.

  • Be sure valuables such as guns, electronic devices and artwork are not visible from the street.
  • Be sure to lock up ladders and tools which could be used to break into your home.
  • Work together with your neighbors. Organize a Neighborhood Watch and let your neighbors know when you will be away for an extended period.
  • While on vacation, have someone pick up your newspapers and mail, so that they do not accumulate and alert burglars of your absence.
  • Display your house number conspicuously and have it well illuminated. This will help police and emergency personnel find your home quickly.

Just in Case…

Sometimes, all your efforts won’t stop a determined burglar. It’s wise to take some precautions that will help you get your property back should a criminal successfully break into your home:

  • Make a list of your belongings (be sure to keep receipts, especially for expensive items like stereos and computers). Be sure to update this list periodically.
  • Keep copies of your inventory list and receipts in a safe deposit box or with a friend. (This is also important in the event of a house fire.)
  • Photographing and/or videotaping your possessions is a convenient way to keep a record of what you own.
  • Engrave your valuables with an identification or mark to deter burglary and to prove ownership should the article be stolen and recovered by the police.
  • Be sure you have the right coverage. You may need to purchase additional coverage to protect special items like expensive jewelry or rare antiques.
  • If you don’t own your home, seriously consider buying a renter’s policy. Your landlord will generally not be responsible for your possessions. Rental coverage is available at competitive rates and these policies also offer important protection against liability and losses due to fire or storm damage.

Aren’t You Tired of Living in the Dark?

And NOT Knowing Who to Call When You Have a Crime Problem?

CALL the LAW ENFORCEMENT HELPLINE

(509) 477-5980

This line was developed to serve and guide you by directing you via one number to various law enforcement divisions such as Crime Check, Spokane Police Department, Juvenile Court, the Domestic Violence Team, Spokane Valley Police, County Sheriff, Spokane C.O.P.S., S.C.O.P.E., etc.

If you are in the county and want to have access to the various divisions of the Law Enforcement HELPLINE “Tree,” you will find it in your CITY Blue Pages in front of your Yellow Page DEX Listings. If you know the numbers for the Crime Check, hotline numbers, city and county law enforcement, Records Division, etc., you can certainly call those numbers directly versus going through the Law Enforcement Helpline.

But, always remember:

Call 9-1-1 FOR CRIMES IN PROGRESS OR AN EMERGENCY
WHEN YOU NEED A POLICE OFFICER TO RESPOND!

CRIME CHECK – 456-2233
WHEN YOU HAVE A NON-EMERGENCY YOU NEED TO REPORT.

Secret Witness is Still: (509) 327-5111

CITY & COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT WEB SITES TO KNOW:

www.crimecheck.org
(This is Crime Check, use 24/7 to report a
NON-emergency crime that has already taken place)

www.spokanepolice.org

www.spokanecops.org

www.spokanesheriff.org
(With S.C.O.P.E. Locations Listed Here)


To report abuse or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult, contact the Department of Social and Health Services at 1-866-EndHarm.

To report consumer fraud, contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-551-4636 or file a consumer complaint online at www.atg.wa.gov.

To report Medicaid fraud, contact the Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at (253) 593-2154 or (253) 593-2155. Or write:  Office of the Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, PO Box 2317, Tacoma, WA 98401.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a campaign sponsored by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse that aims to raise awareness and challenge attitudes that tolerate elder mistreatment. Supporters are encouraged to wear purple on June 15. For information, see www.inpea.net.