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Friday, January 27, 2012



Stay safe this year with RCMP tips

NOW file photo


To ring in the new year, the Coquitlam RCMP offer Tri-Cities residents 12 resolutions for a safe 2012: 1. Be Bear Aware — The RCMP received hundreds of calls in 2011 about interactions between people and wildlife, mainly bears. If you see a bear wandering in the area, report it to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service 24-hour hotline at 1-877-9527277. If lives or property are in immediate danger, call 911. 2. Be prepared for extreme conditions in the wilderness — Check the weather and prepare for it. Bring necessary equipment with you, such as a map and compass. Provide someone you trust with a detailed plan of your trip. If you don’t return home on time, Search and Rescue will know where to begin looking for you. 3. If you see something, say something — Report any criminal or suspicious activity. You might not even know that you have the missing piece of a puzzle that police are trying to solve. 4. Practice safe online and e-purchases — Make sure your security software is up-to-date. Be a smart e-consumer and protect your identity online. If you buy or sell items through websites such as Craigslist, try to do your transaction at a coffee shop or another public place. Do not do your exchange at a private home or on a secluded street. 5. Scam-proof your life — Visit the Better Business Bureau ( and Phonebusters ( websites to learn about the latest scams and how to protect yourself. 6. Lock out identity theft — More than one third of the Coquitlam RCMP’s top 50 prolific offenders are actively involved in identity theft. They often get the information they need by breaking into cars, skimming credit cards and stealing mail. To protect your personal information, check your credit record and credit card account activity often. Pick up your mail every delivery day and report any items that don’t get delivered on time. Don’t leave identity-related documents in your car. 7. Pay attention to good kids — There are many Tri-Cities kids who deserve the spotlight for doing good deeds, making good choices and having a positive impact on the people around them. This year, try to acknowledge these kids for their fine work. 8. Keep it real: Learn how to avoid accidental 911 calls — Of the Coquitlam RCMP’s 37,000 service calls in 2011, more than 1,600 were false or abandoned 911 calls. The RCMP must follow up on every 911 call, even those that are made due to misdials or unsecured cell phones. If you accidentally dial 911, don’t hang up. Stay on the line and tell the dispatcher so they don’t have to spend extra time and resources to track you down and confirm that you’re OK. Don’t program 911 into any phone, since speed dial keys are responsible for many false 911s. Store your cell phone in a safe place and lock the keypad, since pocket- and purse-dial cause many false 911s. If you speak little or no English when calling 911, stay calm and try to tell the dispatcher which language you speak. The Coquitlam detachment has members who speak many different languages, and dispatchers can connect with RCMP officers with different language skills throughout the Lower Mainland. 9. Mark your territory — Every year, the Coquitlam RCMP staff handle thousands of lost, found and stolen items. It can be impossible to return possessions if there is no way to determine ownership. In case of loss or theft, keep an inventory of valuables such as jewelry, bikes, appliances and electronics. The list should include a description of the item and its serial number. Engrave your driver’s license number on bikes, cameras and electronic equipment. Contact your community police station to find out how to get access to an engraver. 10. Use your road sense — Death and injury on the roads can be caused by drug and alcohol impairment, lack of seatbelts and aggressive driving. For more information, visit com/road-safety. 11. Get connected — A close-knit community is a safe community. Get to know your neighbours and consider volunteering in your community to get more involved in public safety. Volunteer opportunities are available with the Coquitlam RCMP’s community and crime prevention programs. 12. Don’t be scared, be prepared — Make sure you and your family are prepared for any emergency. Ensure you have the equipment, supplies and skills to stay safe if you face a power outage, car trouble or more serious situations. For more information on staying safe in 2012, visit www.

The Coquitlam RCMP’s first piece of advice for Tri-Cities residents trying to stay safe in 2012? Be Bear Aware. Police received hundreds of calls last year about interactions between humans and wildlife — mostly bears.

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Coquitlam Now January 27 2012  

Coquitlam Now January 27 2012