RCMP using social media to encourage residents to protect themselves from thieves

#9PMRoutine aims to make locking up at night a habit

Red Deer RCMP want residents to make a habit of protecting their homes and property from thieves.

Social media’s #9PMRoutine was started in 2017 in a Florida county and has since been embraced by police forces across North America.

The goal is to get people to take common-sense anti-theft measures such as locking vehicles and home doors, closing windows and putting away easily stolen items such as bikes as part of an evening routine.

To help spread the word, people are encouraged to post through social media that they have carried out the routine by using the #9PMRoutine hashtag. The campaign seems to be popular; that hashtag was used more than 300 times on Twitter on Thursday.

Criminals are frequently looking for easy targets, so taking a few basic security steps can go a long way, say police.

Checking that vehicles are locked and valuables and garage door openers are taken out should be followed by a check that all doors are locked, including the door from the garage into the home, a popular entry point for thieves.

Close windows, clear the yard and turn on an outdoor light, are the other recommendations.

RCMP Supt. Gerald Grobmeier said #9PMRoutine is one of a number of initiatives being rolled out, including bicycle and security camera registries.

“It’s an easy habit, but it could mean the difference between a break-in or a stolen vehicle, or the criminal simply moving on to easier targets.”

Mayor Tara Veer said the latest campaign is similar to the Lock it or Lose It initiative launched a couple of years ago that has successfully drawn attention to leaving vehicles unlocked and with valuables in plain sight.

“This initiative is essentially the home version of that campaign,” said Veer at a news conference in front of Cronquist House on Thursday afternoon.

Veer said it is all about “target hardening” one’s home against criminals.

“It’s a simple and effective way that citizens can help to deter crime in our community in general, but also to protect their personal property.”

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