CPS offers strategies to deter downtown crime

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By Nick Seebruch
CPS offers strategies to deter downtown crime
The boarded up front doors of A Lil Pole Fitness after being recently vandalized (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) is offering a series of strategies to downtown businesses to deter vandalism and thefts.

Measuring rates of vandalism/ mischief, theft, break-ins and shoplifting from May 1 to Sept. 1 in 2019 and comparing those numbers to the same time period in 2020 CPS is seeing increases in mischief and break-ins, with thefts holding steady, and shoplifting way down.

Cornwall’s downtown area from Third St. down to Water St. and from Sydney St. to Augustus had five cases of Mischief in 2019, which has jumped to nine in the same time period this year. Vandalism, such as breaking windows, is often charged as Mischief.

One downtown business, A Lil Pole Fitness had their glass doors smashed multiple times this summer.

There were three break-ins between May and September in 2019 with four for that time period this year. Thefts held steady with 16 cases of theft during the summer time period in both 2019 and 2020.

Compared to these other cases, shoplifting this summer was way down from the previous year with only five cases investigated between May and September this year whereas there were 24 cases in 2019.

CPS is suggesting the following strategies to help businesses protect themselves:

  • The CPS strongly urges business owners to invest in video surveillance equipment and to keep it well maintained. Good quality images help police identify suspects and aid in arrests.
  • Leave your cash register visible, open & empty after closing to deter criminals from breaking-in. Keep only small amounts of cash (if any) on the premises to reduce the possibility of loss.
  • Light both the interior and exterior of the business.
  • Verified alarms provide real-time information of a crime in progress to responding police officers
  • Keep detailed, up-to-date business records and backup copies off the premises (If a business is ever broken into, the owner can more easily assess losses & provide helpful details to police).
  • Secure all outside entrances and inside security doors with deadbolt locks.

“We are asking that anyone who may have information regarding a commercial break and enter or mischief occurrence to please contact our tip line at 613-933-5000 ext. 2404 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS/ seawayvalleycrimestoppers.ca to leave anonymous information,” reads a statement from CPS to Seaway News.

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