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Identifying Crime in Your Community

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Most people are familiar with the simple things they can do to make their community safer. They might pay attention to speed limits around their neighbourhood and lock their doors at night.

Despite our combined best efforts, crimes will still occur in your community. And when they do, York Regional Police needs to know about it. Don't hesitate to report crime in your neighbourhood, and make it a safer place to live.

Follow these tips to identify crime in your community:

 Drug Trafficking
Look out for these signs of drug trafficking in your community:
  • Windows covered up, condensation on glass, neglected lawns and gardens
  • Bright lights escaping covered windows, basement lights on all day
  • Suspicious vehicles arriving and departing during the night

Look out for these signs of street-level drug dealing in your community:

  • Vehicles parked together in odd places and/or at times
  • Vehicles with tinted windows idling in an empty parking lot for an extended period of time
Domestic Violence
Look out for these signs of domestic violence involving someone you know:
  • Someone who has stopped communicating with you because of a controlling partner
  • Unexplained bruises, cuts or scratches
  • Depression caused by someone's relationship

Look out for these signs that you may be at risk of domestic violence:

  • Your partner has isolated you from friends, family, and/or personal property, like a cellphone
  • Your partner has threatened you or your family, or is jealous/obsessive over you
  • You or your partner grew up in a violent environment, or have a history of domestic violence
Extremist Threats
Look out for these signs of radicalized individuals in your community:
  • Changes in political or religious views, advocating for their new faith and/or recruiting followers to it
  • New social circles that may be unknown to family or old friends
  • Countless hours spent on the Internet and/or a web history inconsistent with prior history

Look out for these signs of potential high-risk travelers in your community:

  • Legal or illegal efforts to obtain a passport and procuring funds for travel
  • Elaborate travel routes to destinations in conflict, like Syria, Iraq, Somalia or Chechnya
  • Travelling with little to no luggage or plans to return
  • Tying up loose ends, or selling off possessions
Fraudsters

Look out for these signs of fraudulent activity online:

  • Suspicious emails requesting personal information
  • Emails requesting the transfer of funds or banking information
  • Online deals that seem too good to be true

Look out for these signs that someone may be attempting to steal your identity:

  • People prying through household garbage cans or recycling bins
  • Suspicious people lingering around ATM vestibules
  • Somebody other than an employer or government agency requesting your SIN
Hate Crime

Hate crimes are motivated by a suspect's hate, bias or prejudice toward someone's:

  • Race, colour or national or ethnic origin
  • Mental or physical disability
  • Age, gender or sexual orientation
  • Language

Hate crimes committed in your community may include: 

  • Physical assault
  • Vandalism or damage caused to personal or religious property
  • Threats, verbal slurs, hateful language or hate propaganda
Human Trafficking

Are you a victim of human trafficking? Did you meet someone who?

  • Promised to protect and care for you?
  • Told you about an easy way to make money and made it sound safe and glamorous?
  • Promised you wouldn't have to do anything you didn't want to?

After a while, did things change? Does this person now:

  • Call you names, hurt you or sexually assault you?
  • Force you to trade sex for money, drugs, protection or a place to stay?
  • Take your money, control your communication or try to move you to another city?
  • Tell you that no one will help you?
Internet Predators

Make your child aware of techniques used by predators on the Internet:

  • Predators use flattery to endear themselves to teens and children
  • Predators use threats to scare teens into complying with a request for sexual images
  • Adult offenders will share increasingly sexual material to normalize sexual communication

Take these steps to protect your child:

  • Talk with your teen about risks on the Internet and increase your involvement
  • Monitor Internet activity and limit your teen's use of his/her smartphone in private
  • Contact police if you suspect that your child has had concerning contact with someone online
Property Theft

Look out for these signs of shoplifting at stores in your community:

  • People placing items in baggy clothing while shopping, or wearing jackets in warm weather
  • Heavily-discounted brand name items for sale at questionable outlets,

Look out for indicators of residential break and enters in your community:

  • Doors to homes that have been left open, or may have been forced open 
  • Individuals or groups of people knocking on doors to check if homeowners are away
  • Unfamiliar vehicles parked outside neighbours' homes while they are away
Seasonal Crimes
Look out for these signs of criminals in your community this winter:
  • People you don't recognize lingering around a neighbour's, or your own idling car while it warms up
  • Suspicious people walking up and down driveways at night

Take these precautions to protect yourself and your valuables from criminals:

  • LOCK IT OR LOSE IT - Lock your parked car in the driveway, parking lots and even inside your garage
  • DON'T STAND IDLE - Do not leave your car to warm up in your driveway while you wait inside your house
Street-Level Robberies

Take these steps to protect yourself against street-level robberies:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and conceal valuables like jewelry or cellphones while in public
  • Keep zippers closed and pockets buttoned
  • Be wary of strangers trying to get close to you. Protect your personal space

If you are the victim of a robbery:

  • Cooperate and remember everything you  can about the offender - be the best witness you can be
  • Call 9-1-1
  • York Regional Police has the ability to speak to you in any language and/or if you have a speech or hearing impairment