Protecting Yourself and Your Property
It is important to protect yourself and property from harm. Here are some tips and tricks to help you with this.
Having your car stolen can be upsetting, time-consuming and expensive.
In Canada, the annual loss from vehicle theft is estimated at nearly one billion dollars. Every vehicle owner in Canada helps to pay for the annual cost of vehicle theft through higher insurance premiums.
Preventing Theft of Motor Vehicles
- Avoid leaving a running vehicle unattended.
- Ensure you always lock car doors and roll up your windows.
- Consider using anti-theft devices (steering wheel lock, an automatic engine shut-off, and/or a tracking device).
- Remember to lock your garage door.
- Avoid storing valuables or packages in open sight in your vehicles (place them out of sight or in the trunk).
Common Locations for Vehicle Thefts
- Large, anonymous parking lots like those associated with shopping malls, movie theatres, airports, train or bus stations
- automotive dealerships
- residential driveways
- unlocked garages
Reporting a Stolen Vehicle
Report it to the police immediately at 905-546-4925. Have the following vehicle information ready:
- Make, model, year and colour of the vehicle
- Plate number, Vehicle Identification Number and insurance company and policy number
- List of contents stolen from the vehicle
- List of any identifying features such as dents, scratches or markings
Citizens Police College
Citizen’s Police College is a free program designed for individuals interested in learning more about policing. Each class offers interactive presentations on a variety of topics such as traffic safety, victim services, homicide and forensics.
Registration is free and is available to individuals 18 years-of-age and older, who live in Hamilton or who are engaged in fulltime studies within Hamilton. Since its inception in 1997, thousands of citizens have participated in Citizens Police College.
The program is offered in the fall and typically runs for six weeks. Check out our Calendar of Events for the next session.
Residential break-ins are typically crimes of opportunity, burglars typically target certain property based on characteristics that will increase their chances of breaking-in without getting caught.
These characteristics include:
- Corner lots.
- Homes that back onto parks and other open spaces (these typically allow for greater access into the home).
- Property that does not appear to be maintained or "lived-in".
- Try our Home Security Challenge to see how safe your home is!
How to Maintain a Safe Home
- Ensure that shrubs and hedges around your property are maintained to have clear lines of sight to all accessible windows and doors.
- Keep garage and screen doors locked, even while at home.
- Get to know your neighbours and join forces by looking out for each other's properties.
- Consider installing a second locking device for your windows and any sliding doors.
Safety Tips While Away on Vacation
- Make sure to cancel newspapers.
- Do not advertise your travel plans on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
- Consider asking a friend or trusted neighbour to care for your house while you are away.
Home Security Audits
The Hamilton Police Auxiliary Branch provides free home security audits. These audits:
- Educate homeowners against potential Break and Enters
- Provide recommendations which may protect owners against vandalism
To book an audit, contact 905-546-4900 or email [email protected]
Reduce your risk of being victimized by following these common sense tips. Remember – your best defence is an alert and cautious mind.
In Your Home
- Install a door viewer and never open the door to strangers – speak through the door
- If someone asks to come in for help, keep the door closed and call the police for them
- Draw all window drapes/shades at night
- If you live alone, don’t reveal this your answering machine
On a Date
- The use of drugs or alcohol can affect your better judgement
- Bring enough money to pay for your own ride home
- Always trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right, get to a safe place
On the Street
- Walk with another person. If you can’t, notify someone of your route and arrival time
- Choose the sidewalk across from potential hiding spots such as doorways, alleys, shrubs
- If a threatening vehicle approaches you, turn and walk in the opposite direction
- If you think you’re being followed, go to the nearest well-lit public area and seek assistance
- If you are in danger, make noise – yell, scream, or do whatever it takes to attract attention
- Carry a whistle
- Avoid using bank machines after hours, carrying large amounts of money, or counting money in public
- Conceal small electronics when possible
In Your Car
- Have your keys out and ready before you get to your vehicle, especially if parked underground
- Check the outside and interior of your car for someone hiding inside
- Lock your vehicle once inside and again when you leave it
- Park in well-lit areas with pedestrian traffic
- Never pick up hitchhikers
- When using public transportation, sit near the driver and know the schedules and routes
- When staying in hotels, use a door stop for your room
- When travelling, always keep your luggage and bags with you
- Use a security pouch under your clothing
Vulnerable Persons Registry
Hamilton Police have partnered with MedicAlert Foundation Canada to better assist officers with their interactions with vulnerable persons. MedicAlert Connect Protect provides quick 24/7 access to a registered subscriber’s emergency profile. This service gives police first responders, through their dispatcher, critical intelligence including recent photo, physical descriptions, wandering history, behavior management strategies such as anxiety triggers and de-escalation techniques, as well as caregiver information.
Hamilton Police dispatchers have access to the national database of registered subscribers. Residents from this region are encouraged to subscribe to the MedicAlert service.
Register at MedicAlert Connect Protect
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