Gone are the days when you can trust your community enough to leave your vehicle unlocked, or even your front door.
That's the message Greater Sudbury Police Chief Paul Pedersen emphasized Monday at the launch of Crime Prevent Week in the city.
“Those times were yesterday, and we need to adapt,” he said.
While the level of crime in Greater Sudbury is relatively low when compared to many other cities across the plant, there's certainly room for improvement, Pedersen said.
“When we look to other countries around the world, we see mass shootings happening, and at the end of the day, Sudbury is a beautiful city, where we care about each other," he said. "But we can always improve.”
And, like he has said in the past, police can't do it alone.
“Crime prevention is a collaborative effort,” he said. “In fact, police can't do very much about crime prevention without help, and it could be something as simple as a store changing its layout so aisles are more visible, deterring theft in the process.”
The province is reminding citizens about how they can help prevent crime, while also urging them to stay vigilant and be cautious of fraud.
“While the police work hard to prevent crime and protect the people of Ontario each and every day, crime prevention does not rest on their shoulders alone. Everyone has a role when it comes to community safety,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. "Crime Prevention Week provides an opportunity to increase awareness about how each of us can help prevent crime and keep ourselves and our communities safe.”
With the entire world literally at the tips of our fingers, Pedersen said the best mindset for everyone is to “trust nothing.”
“Anything that comes to you, (whether it's an email or a phone call), don't trust it,” he said. “If it's you doing the reaching out, that' different, but anything you find in your inbox that asks you to do something, perhaps on behalf of a bank, take it upon yourself to call the bank — but not at a number provided in the email.”
The internet is the new playground for kids, he said. Today, before children even attend their first day of school, they are already immersed in the World Wide Web.
It's for these reasons Crime Prevention Week takes place, Pedersen said.
“Every year, this is the week where we really push the message of crime prevention, partially because it's right before the holiday season, and we know that there's an increase in opportunity for people to commit crimes, whether it's drinking and driving or stealing things from vehicles,” he said.
With the recent increase in reports of telephone scams across the province, people can help protect themselves, their family, friends and neighbours:
- Take strict measures to keep personal information confidential and never share details like credit card, bank account numbers, or any other payment information over the phone or text.
- Use caution when clicking on links sent to you via text when coming from unknown senders.
- Have conversations with friends and family who are more vulnerable and possibly most at risk to fraud, such as elderly adults or teens.
- If a suspicious call is received, hang up right away and contact your local police to report it. You may also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- Don't respond to text messages from numbers that are not complete cellphone numbers or without verifying who the sender is.
- Don't call a phone number texted to you from an unknown person.
- Use caution on free offers or notifications of winning a prize. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.