Crime Prevention Tips

The LaSalle Police Service has listed numerous safety tips for you and your family. Please feel free to review these helpful tips as outlined. The LaSalle Police Service is fortunate to have a dedicated Community Liaison Officer whose mandate in part is to develop, implement and assists the community of LaSalle with various crime prevention programs and initiatives. Currently, our Community Liaison Officer (CLO) is Senior Constable Jamie Nestor and his duties include but are not limited to:

  • Manage community service projects, i.e.: Seniors Safety seminars regarding fraud, identity theft, Liaison with LaSalle Block Parent, LaSalle Road Watch and Neighbourhood Watch, MADD;
  • Liaison for the LaSalle Community Police Advisory Committee (CPAC);
  • Instruct and ensure delivery of the Values, Influences and Peers (V.I.P.) programs within all LaSalle elementary schools;
  • Conduct business information seminars;
  • Supervise and train Adult Crossing Guards; Deliver training for the School Safety Patrol programs; Secondary School and Elementary School educator and liaison facilitator;
  • Conducts and coordinates community awareness programs such as Child Seat Inspection clinics and the annual seat belt program;
  • Coordinates Bicycle Rodeos, guest lectures upon request, and facilitates Community fundraising programs dealing with crime prevention.

Sexual Abuse Safety Tips

Properly supervising children is the best way to prevent child sexual abuse. Children who are not supervised well can become emotionally vulnerable and, in turn, fall prey more easily to sexual abusers offering affection, attention and friendship.

You can prevent child sexual abuse by becoming knowledgeable about the topic and by reporting any good faith suspicions you may have to the authorities. By becoming knowledgeable, you might be more aware of potential sexual problems in others, including young children and teenagers, or recognize inappropriate behavior by adults.

The sexual abuse of children must be stopped before it happens. Prevention actions include encouraging the media to inform the public about child sexual abuse, recognizing potential child molesters early and directing them to appropriate services, empowering parents to protect their children, and keeping chronic, untreatable child molesters away from children permanently. To truly prevent child abuse of any kind, we need to create a society that respects children, protects them from harm, and shows them how to treat others in a positive and non-exploitive manner.

If you would like more information about Sexual Abuse Safety Tips for you and your children please call any one of the local Community Service Providers or Community Partners.

Internet Luring Safety Tips

Children Lured To Porn on The Net

Online pornographers have begun luring children with a new “bait & switch” ploy that links sexually explicit sites to cartoon characters and other web addresses that appeal to the youngest computer users.

One site even encouraged repeat visits by offering prizes for viewing more photos, and a child who stumbles on some porn sites can find it impossible to leave. Technology allows the sites to capture the visitor’s browser and then each click of the mouse just brings up another explicit photo.

The sites use young children to click on banner ads which generate revenue for the web site. While innocently in the site and trying to get out, children and be exposed to dozens of sexually explicit photographs. In other situations, teenagers are using mom and dad’s credit cards to “peek” at pornographic photos. The parents don’t find out until they receive a huge bill.

Preventing And Dealing With Exposure To Porn

What should you do if you discover your child has seen sexually explicit material on the Internet? It can be an uncomfortable topic for any parent and child to discuss. What you say will vary depending on the age of the child.

Ilene Berson, a faculty member at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute in Florida, has surveyed 6,800 kids about online behavior. She offers the following advice:

  • Children ages 9 and under shouldn’t be allowed to surf the Web alone. They need to be closely supervised; If your adolescent child sees sexually explicit images, stay calm. Kids are resilient, even when it comes to fleeting exposure to images that you might find disturbing. They want information and reassurances. Don’t launch into crisis mode. If you blow up, they’ll get scared and they will never tell you if it happens again;
  • Praise your child for showing you or telling you about what they’ve seen on line. Say, “I’m really glad you showed me.” Ask them what they think happened and let their questions guide your responses;
  • Explain that the porn site is just for adults, not kids. Remind them that they can always talk to you if they see anything disturbing again;
  • Set clear rules about using the Internet alone. Tell your kids you want to know where they’re going and what they’ll do once they arrive;
  • Ask questions. If your adolescent son or daughter disappears into the bedroom for three hours, find out what’s been going on. If they don’t volunteer the information, you can use your browser’s history file to find out where they’ve been;
  • Be proactive. Adolescent kids are bound to explore their interests – a taboo topic like sex – on the Internet. Make sure they know they can always come to you with questions;
  • Make sure they don’t turn to chat rooms for a sympathetic ear. That leaves the door open for pedophiles who are looking for any opportunity to establish a rapport with their young victims. Suggest the names of responsible adults they can confide in when they’re upset with you.

If you would like more information about Internet Luring Safety Tips for you and your children please call any one of the local Community Service Providers or Community Partners.

Domestic Violence Safety Tips

  • During an argument, or if you feel tension building, avoid areas in your home where weapons might be available – the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or workshops;
  • If there are weapons in your household such as firearms – lock them up;
  • Know where there is a safe exit from your home – a window, elevator or stairwell;
  • Discuss the situation with a trusted neighbor if you can. Ask them to call 911 if they hear a disturbance. Find a code word to use with them if you need the police;
  • Always keep a packed bag ready; Know where you would go to be safe if you have to leave, even if you don’t really think you need to.

Remember that no one ever deserves to be abused. It is not your fault.

Always call the Police if you are concerned for your safety.

A Safe Place provides free services for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. Translators, and other assistance are available. Please contact one of the Community Service Providers or Community Partners.

If you would like more information about A Safe Place or Safety Planning for you and your children please call any one of the local Community Service Providers or Community Partners.

Burglar-proofing Homes

The easiest way to protect yourself from burglars is to take preventative measures. These measures, which can be as simple as lighting schemes or as complex as security alarms, vary according to your plans and financial capabilities.

Going on Vacation

Before going on vacation, contact your newspaper and arrange to put a stop or vacation hold on your daily delivery, or ask a neighbor to collect your newspapers for you. Go to the Post Office and fill out a vacation hold form to keep your mail from accumulating. Piles of unchecked mail and unread newspapers are a green light to burglars looking for potential targets.

A timer, which turns lamps and lighting on and off at set times, is inexpensive and available at most major retail outlets. Simply plug it in and set your lighting scheme. In addition to conserving energy – you don’t have to keep the lights on constantly, the lights may fool burglars into thinking someone is home.

Another idea is to make your home “look” occupied. Give your neighbors permission to park in your driveway and to use your trash can if you will be away for extended periods. Ask them to pick up notices, fliers or deliveries left on your porch. Be sure to leave a phone number so they can, or the police, can reach you just in case.

At Home

When you purchased your computer, what did you do with the boxes? Throw them in your garbage can? This is an open invitation to burglars, announcing that you have new (and probably expensive) equipment in your home. The best thing do with boxes like these is to fold them and then cut them down, or take them to a recycling center.

Investing in motion detector lights for your garage or backyard area can be a worthy investment. Look for lights that allow you to set the sensitivity (the light is of little use if passing leaves set it off) and place them where maximum light will reach entry points, such as a back door or car doors.

Keep in mind that just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re safe from a burglar. Truly desperate criminals have been known to sneak in an upstairs window, rob your upper floors of all valuables and then sneak out, undetected. Keep all windows and doors locks when you’re home as well as when you’re at work. Be sure to keep valuable items, like your purse or extra car keys, awake from unlocked doors. It’s quite simple for a thief to open the front door, snatch your purse or keys and be off while you’re singing to the kitchen radio.

Similarly, avoid placing spare keys outside, especially anywhere near the door. If someone needs a spare key, make other arrangements, such as leaving the key with a neighbor or in a strategic place in the backyard. Invest in a deadbolt for every outer door; experts and law enforcement officials agree that deadbolt locks are the hardest to break and one of the cheapest security investments you can make.

Make sure all entries into your home – windows, doors and the garage area – are secure. If you use an automatic garage door opener and will be gone for a few days, place a large box or other obstacle in front of the door (on the inside). Because the opener’s infrared signal sees the obstacle, it will automatically trigger a non-opening command. Initially designed to keep garage doors from crushing children and pets, this useful feature can also help prevent burglaries. Another idea is to disengage the electricity to the garage door altogether.

Consider investing in an alarm system if you are truly concerned about safety, particularly if you live in a high-crime area or homes in your neighborhood have been recently victimized. Alarm systems range from simple beeping alarms to complex systems that alert the police department of an intruder. Keep in mind, however, that even with the relative safety of an alarm system, you still need to take standard, common-sense precautions for home safety.

Finally, make sure your homeowner’s or renters insurance is current and your home inventory is up-to-date and safely stored away. You’ll need these documents should the unthinkable happen. A good spot for an inventory sheet, as well as other valuable documents like wills and court papers, is a fire-proof safe (hide it well) or a plastic pouch in your freezer.

If You’re a Victim

There’s nothing more frightening than coming home from a wonderful vacation to discover someone has been in your house and stolen your things. Because burglars are rarely considerate, your house may have considerable damage to it as well as being empty of your possessions.

The first thing you need to do is call the police. Use the neighbor’s telephone if possible – you don’t want to take the chance that the burglar might still be in your home. Don’t move or touch anything until the police have had a chance to investigate and check for fingerprints or other clues.

After the police have taken a report and given you the okay to start picking up, contact your insurance company. They will ask you for a list of stolen things; locate your inventory sheet and start from there. Be as accurate as possible and be sure to account for any new items you may have acquired but not yet added to your inventory list.

Alert your neighbors of the break-in as soon as possible. They will want to be on the lookout and take safety precautions in case the offender takes a liking to your neighborhood.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a good security setup. All it takes a little bit of time and caution!

The LaSalle Police Service has Home Audit packages available for free, which may assist in targeting hardening your home. Pick one up and Stay Safe.

Hate Crimes Safety Tips

You cannot insure that you will never become a hate crime victim. No hate crime victim is to blame for the crime committed against him or her. Nevertheless, these few safety tips may be helpful:

  • Trust your gut! If you feel threatened or unsafe, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible;
  • Letting someone you do not know into your home or apartment makes you vulnerable to robbery and assault. If you leave a bar with someone you have just met, introduce him or her to a friend or bartender. Let other people know that you are leaving together. Ask for your date’s first name and phone number, where they work and live, what they like and do not like. Ask around if anyone knows the person;
  • Mix your own drinks/don’t leave drinks unattended: getting you drunk or drugging you is an easy way for someone to cloud your judgment;
  • If you would like more information about Hate Crimes Safety Tips for you and your children please call any one of the local Community Service Providers or Community Partners; Block Parents:
  • Block Parents are responsible adults who care sufficiently about the well-being of children and others to volunteer their homes as a temporary refuge in an emergency. All Block Parents are screened by the police and are given instructions on the program by local volunteers;
  • V.I.P. Program: Values-Influences-Peers program assists in the development of confidence and sense of self-worth in our youth. This program is offered to the grade six classes at all schools within our community;
  • The program rationalizes that individuals who feel good about themselves and who have a positive sense of their own identity are more likely to interact with others in a positive way. The expectation is that students will respect the values and laws of their society;
  • High School Liaison/Facilitator was developed in partnership with the area secondary school principals, where the police service through a liaison officer would act as a resource person to the students, staff and parents;
  • The liaison officer is available during both junior and senior lunch periods so that students have a better opportunity to visit, with the expectation of students developing a rapport and trust with the officer.

Halloween Safety Tips

Trick or Treaters

  • Carry a flashlight;
  • Walk, don’t run;
  • Stay on the Sidewalks (If no sidewalk) walk on the left side of the road facing traffic;
  • Obey all traffic signals;
  • Stay in familiar neighborhoods;
  • Don’t cut across yards or driveways;
  • Wear a watch that you can read in the dark;
  • Make sure costumes don’t drag on the ground; Shoes should fit (even if they don’t go with your costume);
  • Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house;
  • Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props;
  • Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape;
  • Approach only houses that have lighting on;
  • Stay away from and don’t pet animals you don’t know.

Parents

  • Ensure your child has a meal before setting out;
  • Children should carry quarters so they can call home;
  • An adult should accompany young children of any age;
  • If your children go on their own, be sure they wear a watch, preferably one that can be read in the dark;
  • If you buy a costume, look for one made of flame-retardant material;
  • Older children should know where to reach you and when to be home;
  • Know the exact neighbourhoods they are going to;
  • Although tampering is rare, advise children to bring the candy home to be inspected before consuming anything;
  • Examine the wrapping carefully and if anything looks suspicious call the LaSalle Police Service 969-5210 ext. 0.

Homeowners

  • Ensure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flowerpots that can trip the young ones;
  • Pets get frightened on Halloween. Put them away to protect them from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater;
  • Battery powered Jack O’Lantern candles are preferable to a real flame;
  • If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing;
  • Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won’t be blown into a flaming candle;
  • Give away healthy food or non-food treats such as plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers and coins.

For further information, please contact Senior Constable Harbinder Gill, Police Community Liason Officer at 519-969-5210 ext 2031