Vehicle Anti-Theft Campaign
April 29, 2021
Auto theft can happen at any time. A stolen vehicle causes a lot of stress and inconvenience to the victims. Approximately 200 cars are stolen per day in Canada. In 2019, about 27% of those were in Alberta. Over 40% of cars that are stolen have the keys accessible. Awareness is an important part of crime prevention. Together, with local RCMP detachments, we create a strong awareness and presence of the law and help reduce crime.
Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch awareness campaign set a goal to raise awareness and influence behaviours towards crime prevention in a positive way. In reference to crime report summaries supplied by K Division, we decided to target motor vehicle thefts in the Red Deer RCMP detachment area. In 2019, 1219 from a total provincial number of 2611 vehicles were stolen from the Red Deer detachment area, representing 46% of all motor vehicle thefts for that year. With a short awareness video and a set of ads, we established a Google Ads campaign starting October 1, 2020, and running through to Dec 31, 2020. We targeted an 18km radius around the city of Red Deer reaching west to Sylvan Lake, East to Delburne, North to Blackfalds and south to Penhold.
Our message was simple. Lock Your Vehicle. The message focussed on the fact that over 40% of cars that are stolen have the keys accessible. During this three-month period, we achieved 2.72 million viewings of our display ad along with 186,000 viewings of our video. After review, we saw a 32% reduction in motor vehicle thefts in the six-month period From October 2020 to April 2021 for the Red Deer and Blackfalds areas compared to the same time period 2019/2020. (2019/2020 saw 567 stolen vehicles 2020/2021 had 381, a difference of 186.)
10 tips for keeping your vehicle safe.
Education is a very important part of crime prevention. Despite these positive numbers, there is still room for improvement and prevention. Protecting Alberta’s rural communities is a collective responsibility. Here are some helpful tips to keep your vehicle safe.
- Ensure you always lock your doors and take the key with you.
- Remove all valuables including smartphones, sunglasses, GPS and keys. Put anything in the trunk that could tempt a thief. Even loose change or empty shopping bags.
- Use a steering wheel lock and a vehicle alarm to provide extra deterrents for thieves.
- Remember to close all windows and sunroofs.
- Remove garage door opener from the vehicle. Thieves could use them to gain access to the contents of your garage or your home. Also, ensure to lock your garage.
- Use a vehicle tracking system to make it easier for the RCMP to find a stolen vehicle.
- Always park in a well-lit area. If you are parking in the same parking lot often, then park in different spots each day.
- Never leave the vehicle running with the keys inside. Thieves are on the lookout, especially during cold winter mornings.
- Protect extra vehicle keys. Ensure you remove the valet key that some models of cars leave in the owner’s manual.
- Keep your vehicle registration and proof of insurance with you.
Report crime online!
The RCMP are encouraging all Albertans to report eligible crimes online (select property crimes under $5,000). Reporting less serious crimes online helps emergency dispatch and frontline members focus their time on high-priority calls. It provides a convenient way to share photos to the RCMP as well. These reports assist in crime analysis, aid in establishing trends and patterns, and ultimately leads investigators to the chronic offenders. It also assists in making decisions about how and where to deploy resources. Crimes reported online will be taken just as seriously as crime reported in any other way.
Help reduce crime, report online! #ReportSmart
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