Our election saw several platforms of candidates focus on crime prevention and efforts to change current laws that give place to prolific offenders, or minimal catch and release times of those arrested. In light of the situation, following a recent theft at a place of business in Portage la Prairie earlier this week, the local RCMP detachment is sending out the message signal that there are proper procedures that the public must allow the RCMP to engage in, to allow them to do their job effectively. 

Portage RCMP officers responded to the report of theft this past Tuesday. Media Liaison Officer Constable Larry Neufeld says the investigation is still open, noting there are several moving parts to it.

"The RCMP take crime very seriously and we sympathize with the business owners who have been victimized in our communities," says Neufeld. "There are processes that the police are required to follow to ensure conviction of these suspects when they are apprehended. Unlike TV shows, the police cannot just go breaking down doors and seizing things. We also work in an area with several different police agencies."

Neufeld says RCMP works closely with all partners in efforts to apprehend criminals. 

"We always have and always will," continues Neufeld. "What we are not looking for from the general public is people chasing down these suspects. There are too many dangers that come into play when this occurs. These people could cause serious injury to the people interacting with them."

He notes police have the required training and tools to use in such cases, unlike the general public.

"Also, chasing people with vehicles is incredibly dangerous," adds Neufeld. "There are pedestrians everywhere, and if people are driving through stop signs or stop lights, they are putting the general public in grave danger. There are several aspects in which business owners and even homeowners can do to deter thefts and break-ins. Theft prevention or crime prevention by environmental design is not a new thing, but is gaining ground again."

Environmental crime prevention includes efforts by business people or homeowners to help deter crime by efforts such as:

  • Removing/trimming decorative shrubs and trees that may obstruct anyone seeing if a criminal is at your home or business.  
  • Provide an unobstructed view of the area around your property. 
  • Install fencing with a secure lockable gate to clearly define your property and prevent easy access to the back of your home.
  • Install bright security lighting, using motion detectors is a good consideration to conserve energy while providing security. 
  • Install solid-core doors on all exterior doors with deadbolt locks.
  • Secure all sheds and outbuildings, making sure they are visible from the home.

Neufeld adds, to deter crime, the RCMP encourages anyone interested in further protecting their property to engage in crime prevention and learn about options that are available to you.