Guelph police launch group internet portal

Resources to safety proof your home are included with the new community policing web page

Guelph Police Service has launched its community policing web page to clearly outline safety tips for Guelph residents and resources to keep them, their family and home safe.

“You know, it’s more than just a buzzword, right, where we’re prioritizing, staying connected with the community that we police,” said Christopher Probst, co-chair of the Guelph police community policing committee.

Prior to the pandemic, the police service created a community policing committee, where Guelph Police Service staff from different departments, volunteered their time to be on the committee. Civilians are also on it.

The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design assessment is a tool for property and business owners who would like their building assessed for safety, theft and break-in protection.

Probst said he pushed for this assessment tool to be implemented, so far the service has received two requests.

During the assessment officers will recommend changes with the landscape, lighting, and technology to better secure a home or business.

Things people can do now before getting an assessment is ensuring they lock their vehicles and don’t program their garage door opener in their car.

“So we would recommend you don’t want to block entrance ways to a home and give people that are untoward, unlimited time to try to break in the house,” said Probst. This can be done by landscaping, and making sure the view of the front door is unobstructed.

Along with the assessment there is a police academy. Community organizations can request the police academy to come into their business and present once a week for eight to 10 weeks about the different aspects of policing.

Probst has personal experience with a break and enter, his parents home was broken into.

“They replaced the furniture and they repainted the walls, just to make it look different,” said Probst, after the break-in occurred.

In order to move forward, “they wanted to change the environment,” he said.

A tip he gives to civilians is to be aware of your surroundings.

Part of his job is he sometimes has to review security footage videos.

“Every so often I will see a victim or somebody that’s about to be victimized, just walking along and the suspect is actually in real close proximity but they just didn’t notice they were distracted by their phone,” he said.

You don’t have to be paranoid or hypervigilant of your surroundings, just be aware, said Probst.

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