Hello from your Hamilton Crime Stoppers. As the Holiday season gets closer, we at Crime Stoppers would like to give some TIPS of our own with some help from our friends at Hamilton Police Crime Prevention. Festive activities will be in the spotlight, and crime prevention may not, so it is important for everyone to ensure they are doing what they can to prevent crime.
On the 1st day of Christmas, you can prevent crime by keeping your car safe from break‐ins and thefts.
Park in well‐lit, traveled areas
Keep valuables and gifts out of sight in the trunk. Do not leave in the vehicle for long periods.
Don’t leave your keys in the car while it is running
Use a steering‐wheel lock and/or car alarm to make your vehicle less attractive to thieves
On the 2nd day of Christmas, you can prevent crime by talking to youth about stranger danger.
Teach kids to ask store clerks or mall security if they become separated from you.
Never leave kids alone in the car
If you have a cell phone, ensure your kids have the phone number handy to reach you, and know where they can go to access a phone (stores, info‐desk, security and payphones).
If dropping youth off to shop on their own, establish a meeting place inside the establishment for pick‐up (not in the parking lot or at doorways)
For younger ages, use a safety word.
On the 3rd day of Christmas, you can prevent crime by being a safe driver on the road.
Reduce speed and exercise caution when driving in inclement weather
Know your route. Have an alternate one planned in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Pull over to answer your phone, or tend to other distracting events
On the 4th day of Christmas, you can prevent crime by keeping your information safe when shopping online.
Type the store’s URL directly in your browser rather than browse to online retailers through a search engine where you may encounter malicious links,
Use a different password for each site you must sign in for and don’t let the browser store passwords for you.
Use a credit card rather than a debit card online so you can stop payments quickly in the event of a problem.
Be cautious with e‐mails claiming to be shipping confirmation or package alerts that force you to open a file attachment. Delete any message that claims to provide tracking information but doesn’t include a tracking number.
On the 5th day of Christmas, you can prevent crime, by identifying fraudulent scams to avoid.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If making a purchase online or through classified ads, arrange to meet at a neutral, public location and do not go alone. Use the HPS Safe Exchange Zone at Station 30, 400 Rymal Road E.
On the 6th day of Christmas, you can prevent crime if making donations to canvassers for charities.
Ask for legitimate identification – only donate to registered charities.
Contact the Canada Revenue Agency to see if the charity is registered at http://www.cra‐arc.gc.ca/charities/
Do not feel pressure to donate right away – ask for information on how you can donate at a later time
On the 7th day of Christmas, you can prevent crime when sending gifts.
Do not send cash in the mail
Communicate with your recipient to ensure they are expecting a parcel
When sending a gift or gift card, consider using registered mail or a courier service so parcels can be tracked and insured
On the 8th day of Christmas, you can prevent crime by keeping your home safe from break‐ins.
Keep any ladders used for putting lights up away from the home so criminals cannot use them to climb up to your windows
Do not display gifts in a window or doorway
Properly dispose of gift packaging and boxes. Do not leave these outside for all to see, as this will advertise the contents of your home to thieves. Put inside garbage bags or take directly to recycling depots.
On the 9th day of Christmas, you can prevent crime by securing your home before you go away.
Make your home looks lived in: Put lights, radios and TVs on variable timers. Have someone stay inside your home for a while each day if possible.
Have a trusted neighbour/friend/family member check on your home daily, collect your mail, and shovel your walks.
Lock‐up tools, BBQs and ladders and make sure they are out of sight
On the 10th day of Christmas, you can prevent crime by reporting suspicious behaviour to police.
If you see any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, call police at 905‐546‐4925. Call 911 for a crime in progress.
You may submit an anonymous crime tip to Crime Stoppers as long as it is NOT in progress
On the 11th day of Christmas, you can prevent crime by recognizing domestic violence and taking action.
Domestic violence can be seen through various avenues for example in the workplace, neighbours, etc. It takes a community to address domestic violence and it is important to call for help.
The holidays can be a stressful time and the effects of difficult times are felt long before they get to a point of crisis. It is important for people seek help before they get to that point.
On the 12th day of Christmas, you can prevent crime by getting home from the party safely.
Don’t leave your drink unattended at parties or other social events, to avoid the risk of someone altering it.
Never drink or do drugs and drive – and convince others do the same
If going to a party, pre‐arrange transportation to ensure a safe ride home (taxi cabs, designated drivers, public transportation)
Always let friends or family know where you plan on going for the evening, and be accountable for notifying them when you are home safely.
When taking a cab, note the company and number on the vehicle for accountability purposes and to track down in case you leave something behind.
Stay in groups when travelling to and from a venue, at a function, or taking public transit and taxi cabs.
Together, we can continue keeping our community stronger and safer. IT’S YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR CALL!
We hope you enjoyed the 12 TIPS of Christmas, please have a safe and Happy Holidays!