Crime and Safety

Constable Julie Campbell, Toronto Police, 43 Division

 

How secure is your home?

 

Let me walk you through how a typical break and enter happens here in Scarborough.

 

It’s a beautiful day, and you’re leaving for work. Your front door and windows are securely locked as you pull out of your driveway thinking, “how bad is the traffic going to be today?”

 

In another area of the city, two other individuals are also leaving for ‘work.’ Their job, however, is stealing your hard-earned property and erasing your sense of personal security.

 

They arrive on your street just after lunch when most people are working and the kids are in school.

 

They notice your empty driveway. One suspect stays in the car while the other knocks on your door. After several minutes of knocking without an answer, the suspect calls his friend in the car to say, “it’s go time.” A quick shoulder blow or kick to the door and they’re inside.

 

Together they quickly search the house, focusing on your master bedroom and home office. They stuff their backpacks with things like cash, iPads, expensive alcohol and jewelry. After just five minutes, they’re gone as quickly as they came through the front door. Off to repeat the process at someone else’s house.

 

Last month in 43 Division, we saw 25 residential break-ins, almost one per day.

 

Most of them had a story very similar to the one above. Officers are out both day and night checking on the usual suspects and patrolling residential streets for things that don’t belong. With that being said, we need the community’s help.

 

We need you to call in whenever you see something out of the ordinary.

 

That would include someone going door-to-door knocking, an idling vehicle that you’ve never seen before or people standing on your neighbour’s front steps for a long time. You can reach our dispatch centre at 416-808-2222 or 911 in an emergency.

 

There are a few things you can also do to help prevent a break-in. You could upgrade to a security strike plate on any exterior door frame. They’re not expensive, about $15 at your local hardware store. Keep an open street view to your front or side doors; bad guys don’t like to be on display to your neighbours or someone driving through the neighbourhood. Mostly importantly, please call in if you see something or someone that just isn’t quite right in your community.

 

Const. Julie Campbell is the crime prevention officer for Scarborough’s 43 Division.