Information provided here has been reproduced from a brochure published by the WSCPA. The WSCPA was assisted in the endeavor by: Jim Sawyer, Seattle Children's Hospital; Daryl Peterson, WSCPA; Debbie Ekstrom, Seattle Children's Hospital with special recognition going to the Chelan County Sheriff's Department and to Robert McKellar.
A crime prevention survey of your home can be conducted free of charge by your local police department or sheriff's office. The survey can point out hidden dangers on your property and areas of vulnerability.
The information contained on this page can help you make your home and property as safe as possible.
Burglary is a crime that threatens all homes, but especially those which provide criminals with the "opportunity" to intrude, steal and escape undetected. There are four primary strategies you can employ to minimize the burglar's opportunity: 1.) Physical Security, 2.) Alarms, 3.) Block Watch and, 4.) Operation Identification.
Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. The key to staying safe from assault or robbery is to avoid places or activities that provide a criminal the opportunity to commit a crime against you.
Likewise, the best way to avoid domestic assault is to take steps to limit the attacker's opportunity to get away with the crime.
Personal Safety Check Lists:
The FBI website provides detailed information about cyber crime, threats and scams and how to protect yourself. They also provide links to additional sites focusing on cyber-crime and cyberbullying.
The Federal Trade Commission website is a national resource to learn about identity theft providing detailed information to help you deter, detect and defend against identity theft.
Victim profiles of Fraud and Identity Theft show that senior citizens are the most likely victims. The own their home or homes, have one to two cars, have several zero balance credit cards, and have one or more sources of retirement income.
Repeated studies have shown that 50% of the suspects are someone the victim knows or is a family member of the victim.
Senior Frauds and Cons include the following:
- Sweepstakes, Prizes and Lottery winners
- Charity Scams
- Travel Scams
- Magazine Sales
- Home Repair
- Internet Scams
- Bank Examiner Scam or Pigeon Drop
- Investment Fraud
Law enforcement agencies report that there is an alarming growth in the number of thefts of personal property, particularly automobiles, in recent years. Although many citizens are insured against theft of personal property,ultimately all of us pay for such crimes in the form of higher insurance rates and increased taxes for more law enforcement personnel. Therefore it is important to do all you can to prevent such crimes.
Every precaution should be taken when leaving your bike unattended. Use a good chain and lock to secure your bike to a pole, tree or fence. At home, lock your bike in the yard, even if it is stored in a garage or shed. NEVER park your bike even for a few minutes without chaining and locking it. That's all the opportunity a thief needs.
Mark your bicycle through the Operation Identification program. You may want to consider marking various parts in the event that the bike is stripped. Keep a record of the full description and the serial number of the bike. This information will assist in recovering and returning the bike if it is stolen.
Vandalism is the senseless and often malicious destruction of property. Destruction and damage to both public and private property runs into millions of dollars in Washington State. We all pay for vandalism through loss of property, personal and physical discomfort, possible danger to life, increased taxes to cover damage to public property and increased insurance costs. Vandalism can take place anywhere that an opportunity exists at any time.
Vandals, like burglars, prefer to commit their crimes where they are unlikely to be seen. One of the most effective programs a community group can undertake to avoid vandalism is the Block Watch program.
Seventy-five percent of vandals are between the ages of 7 and 18. Therefore a great responsibility lies with parents. The most effective education comes from the home. Teach your children to respect public and private property. Young people should learn to have a sense of pride in their community. If you are a victim of vandalism, report it immediately and take steps to remove the evidence of the damage to avoid additional problems.
Studies have indicated that rapid removal of graffiti within 24 to 48 hours result in a nearly zero rate of reoccurrence. Notify the police or sheriff's office as soon as you see graffiti. See WWPD Graffiti Abatement Program flyer.
The notion of community policing has been around for years. It is only recently that police and sheriff's departments around the state have begun to institutionally embrace the idea of involving citizens directly in police work in order to attack the root causes of crime.
The Role of Citizens
In order to effectively reduce crime in any given community, citizens must play an active role. You can do your part as a citizen crime fighter by:
- Adopting the crime prevention principles contained in the information on this page and using them daily.
- Acting as the "eyes and ears" of law enforcement and calling police when you suspect a crime has occurred or is about to occur.
- Alerting and working with your law enforcement agency on your neighborhood concerns and supporting community efforts to jointly solve problems.
We have noted telephone numbers at the top of this page that you may call to report criminal activity. According to federal authorities, less than 40% of all crimes committed in the U.S. are reported. If you don't call, law enforcement can't respond.
The Role of Law Enforcement
Community policing refers to a philosophy of policing that can take many different forms depending on how it is implemented.
The community policing philosophy focuses on citizen involvement as an integral part of the solution to crime problems. Police departments all across the state are adopting this philosophy in one form or another and beginning to work hand in hand with individuals, block watch organizations and other community groups to attack the root causes of crime.