The most effective measure you can take to protective yourself against crime is to stay alert to your surroundings and trust your instincts.
Stay alert. Be aware.
- Walk in groups of two or more.
- Put away distractions. Don't display valuable items such as phones, headphones or laptops.
- Carry a personal alarm.
- Plan a route and stick to it.
- Familiarize yourself with the area you are in and where you are going.
- Use populated paths when walking, jogging or cycling.
- Stay in well-lit areas.
- Walk confidently.
- Tell someone your destination and route.
- If you think you are being followed, change direction and head for a populated area.
- Criminals associate purses and wallets with money and valuables. Do not carry a purse with a strap across you or wrapped around your wrist.
- Only carry what you need.
- If you feel unsafe in a situation or place, leave immediately.
When encountering a panhandler
- Say no politely.
- Do not swear or be abusive.
- If you want to help someone on the street, consider giving your money to local registered charity.
Safety & crime prevention starts with you
- Use well-lit and frequently used stops.
- Try to wait with someone or have someone meet you at your stop.
- Plan routes and transfers before your trip. Winnipeg Transit’s Navigo trip planner system can assist you with this.
- Be aware or who gets on and off the bus with you.
- Sit close to the driver.
- Use Winnipeg Transit’s Request Stop program, allowing riders to get off the bus between regular stops. This service is available every day, from 7 p.m. until the end of service.
- Report any abuse or harassment to the driver and/or contact police immediately.
- Do not exist the bus until you feel it is safe to do so.
Carjacking is a crime of opportunity-a thief will search for the most vulnerable prey and use force to steal their vehicle. Criminals do not target one specific demographic group. Most carjackers are armed when they commit these crimes, and that makes it particularly dangerous.
Carjacking's can happen anywhere, but these are the most likely locations:
- High crime areas.
- Lesser-travelled roads, including those in rural areas.
- Intersections that require you to stop.
- Isolated areas in parking lots.
- Residential driveways and gates.
- Traffic jams or congested areas.
TakeAction and lessen the risks
- Stay alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid driving alone, especially at night.
- Drive in well-lit areas and on main roads at night.
- Keep all doors locked and windows up when driving.
- Keep valuables out of site.
- When making deliveries, shut the car off and lock the doors. Don’t get out of vehicle unless you have to.
- When stopped at traffic light, leave enough space between vehicles to allow you to maneuver around vehicles.
- If you are meeting someone new through a social networking, dating or a buy-and-sell site, make a point of meeting them in a public place where other people are around. You leave yourself and your property at risk, meeting someone new in your vehicle.
If it happens to you
If you are threatened by a carjacker no matter the weapon, don’t put yourself in danger. Your life is worth more than a vehicle. Get away as fast as you can and call 911. Try and remember what the carjacker looked like.
Many people operate under the assumption that concerns for personal safety only apply when they away from their homes. Do not take anything for granted. It’s important to be aware of your safety in all situations, including your home.
- Keep doors and windows secure at all times.
- Only open the door when it is safe to do so.
- Keep sightlines clear, trim trees and shrubs to prevent a place for a potential burglar to hide.
- Deter criminals with light. Use motion detectors outside and timers inside to give the appearance someone is home – even when you can’t be.
- Change the locks upon moving into a new residence.
- Keep your doors locked even when you are home or in your yard.
- Include your children in your safety plan.
- Get to know your neighbours.
Strangers at the door
- Place a peephole in a solid door so you can see who is at your door.
- It is a common practice for burglars to knock first to see if anyone is home. Do not open your door to strangers. Verify the person’s reason for being there.
- If you are unsure about someone, stay calm and ask them to leave. If they refuse to leave, advise them you are calling the police and then do so.
Service and delivery people
- Ask for proper identification. Do not let them in until you are sure they are who they claim to be.
- Consider contacting the organization or company to confirm delivery times or to schedule an appointment.
- Be sure to use reputable and reliable companies.
Apartment & condo safety
- The front door to your apartment or condo block is the front door to your residence. Treat it as such and keep it secure.
- Never allow someone you do not know into the building.
- Always lock and secure doors, windows and lockers.
- Use a broom handle or piece of wood in the track of sliding glass doors to prevent them for being opened from the outside.
- Do not identify yourself on the call board of yuor building.
- Do not enter an elevator if you are suspicious of the occupants.
- Report suspicious people loitering.
- Consider starting a Neighbourhood Watch. Your building is your neighbourhood.
Download a copy of our personal safety in the home brochure.
Be cautious when speaking to someone on the phone, as it is very difficult to confirm their identity.
They could be a fraudster.
- If a caller refuses to identify him or herself to you – hang up.
- If you get a call from someone who says they represent a legitimate company or a government agency and they are seeking personal information:
- Hang up.
- Look up the company, government agency, financial institution or police service’s number and call them directly to confirm the call.
- Do not give out personal information to anyone. This includes credit card and banking information.
- Never let an unknown caller know that you are home alone.
- If you are receiving annoying or harassing phone calls, hang up and activate a call trace feature (such as *57 from a landline). Document the time and nature of the calls and assemble a record of the calls contacting the police.
- Call 9-1-1 if the calls are threatening in nature.
Most property crimes, such as thefts from vehicles, are crimes of opportunity. Taking steps to discourage crooks from targeting your car can be simple as ensuring any valuables in your vehicle are removed from plain sight and displaying one of our All Valuables Removed signs in your window.
Display an All Valuables Removed window card to discourage would-be thieves
- The All Valuables Removed program is intended to help you protect your belongings from theft and vandalism.
- Displaying the bright yellow theft prevention card can be a deterrent to thieves saving you reporting, insurance costs, missed work and towing charges.
- It also acts as a reminder to other drivers to protect their valuables.
All Valuables Removed cards are just one of the tools to help you prevent theft from your vehicle.
To effectively reduce thefts from vehicles across the city, it must be used with other tools such as enforcement, community awareness and prevention.
Thefts from vehicles are more likely to occur in areas with many vehicles and minimal pedestrian traffic. Regardless of location, the risk is increased in any place where a vehicle is left running, unattended, unlocked, or with valuables in plain view.
Thefts from vehicles are a crime of opportunity. Give would-be thieves a reason to by-pass your vehicle as a potential target:
- Remove valuables and shopping bags from view. This includes loose change and electronic devices.
- Don't leave personal identification, vehicle registration, insurance documents or credit cards in your vehicle.
- Never leave your vehicle running and unattended.
- Always close windows and lock doors.
- Never leave your car, house keys or garage opener in your vehicle.
- Park in well-lit areas with pedestrian traffic.
Have you ever wondered what happens to property that is seized by the police? In many cases it is destroyed or auctioned, simply because it cannot be traced back to its rightful owner.
Ensuring your valuables are uniquely identifiable makes it easier for us to get recovered items back to you. It can also aid in any criminal code cases. TakeAction by taking steps to engrave valuables with an identifier such as your driver’s license.
It doesn’t guarantee your valuables will not be stolen, but it does make items more difficult to dispose of because they can be more easily traced. For example, did you know every item that is taken into a pawn shop must be checked against our stolen property records?
Take part in Operation Identification
- Email or call the Crime Prevention Unit at 204-986-6322 and ask to borrow one of our engravers at no charge. Each station has an engraver you can borrow as well.
- Engrave and take photos of your valuables, ensuring any unique markers are clearly visible. Using your driver’s license number is the best identifier as it is searchable and may help us reunite you and your item.
- Complete the inventory form(s) that come with the engraver, filling in the make, model and serial number of all the items you engrave. Keep a copy in a safe place.
- Place Operation Identification decals that come with the engraver on your windows and doors. This lets potential criminals know your articles are marked for identification.
For more information email or call the Crime Prevention Unit at 204-986-6322.
Do you buy, sell or trade items online? It’s a good way to:
- Rid yourself of unused items.
- Save a few dollars buying items you do need.
- Help the environment by reusing items that may otherwise end up in a landfill.
Remember as always, caution is key in preventing yourself from being victimized.
Tools you can use:
- There are Buy and Sell Exchange Zones located at each of the four Winnipeg Police Service Stations Use these locations to conduct legal buy and sell transactions. Officers will not assist with transactions. This includes monitoring, negotiating and completing your exchanges; however, these areas may be subject to video monitoring. Exchanges involving weapons or illegal items are not permitted. The Winnipeg Police Service does not assume responsibility for the use of these zones.
- Want to know if the item you plan to buy has been reported stolen? The Canadian Police Information Centre provides an online resource you can use to search serial numbers to find out. Searches can be done on property, vehicles, bikes, boats and firearms.
Tips for completing your transactions safely:
- Complete your transaction during daylight hours, and in a public space.
- Do not meet someone alone.
- Ask for a photo of the serial number before meeting and attempt to confirm the item hasn't been reported stolen.
- Don't provide your personal information to anyone.
- Take screenshots of the advertisement and ID number, the sellers contact information and all communications.
- Know who you are dealing with. Check the buyer’s/seller’s name through an online search engine.
- Take only enough cash with you to pay for the item you are purchasing.
- Ask about the history of the item being sold.
- Do not provide payment until you receive the item.
- Do not give out your personal or banking information.
- Use generic photos when posting an item for sale.
- Trust your instincts! If something feels wrong it probably is.
Investigate your opportunities for making your home more secure and discourage aspiring criminals from targeting your home. Following is our ‘Most Wanted’ list of things we want homeowners to think about when crime proofing their homes.
Case the joint - Walk around your home with the eyes of a burglar. Look for weaknesses that would make a theft or break-in easy for a burglar.
Follow along below or download a printable copy of the home audit checklist.
Outside your home
- Are there clear views of all windows and doors?
- Do you have interior and exterior lighting that gives the impression you are home?
- Is there a convenient way of clearly seeing who is at your door without opening it?
- Do all of your exterior doors have a deadbolt; and if so do they have at least a one-inch throw?
- Are the screws that secure your entry doors and the strike plates located on the door jamb opposite the lock at least 2 1/2 inches long?
- Have you taken steps to reinforce any windows located in or next to doors?
- If you have a sliding door, do you have screws in the top of the track to prevent the door from being lifted out when they are in the closed and locked position?
- If you have a sliding door, do you have either a hockey stick in the bottom track or a security bar to prevent the door from opening?
- Do the sliding windows of your home have security locks?
- Do you always close and lock your garage door? Do you have a deadbolt on your walk-in door?
- Do you store valuables in the basement or keep them in a safety deposit box?
- Do you lock your vehicle or leave valuables in your vehicle?
- Have you marked all valuables with an engraver and recorded serial numbers?
- Do you have a trusted neighbour or friend pick up your mail, newspapers and flyers when away for more than a day?
- Have you made arrangements to have your lawn cut and your snow shoveled when you go away?
- If you have an answering machine, do you leave a message that leaves the impression you are home?
Let's see how you did!
- 15-16 Excellent!
- 13-14 You're almost there.
- 11-12 You have a little work left to do.
- 9-10 Your home would benefit from further security improvements.
- 7-8 It's time to address your security needs.
- Less than 7 Improve your security. Don't delay.
Your results reflect the level of security your home has in relation to the most common security weaknesses.
Please review your security as all of the above changes to your home can, in most cases, be done at a reasonable cost. The results are substantial for the amount of money invested in your home.
What else can you do?
Types of frauds and scams
- Identity Thefts
- Email/text messages
Common techniques used by fraudsters
- Rush deals – you are told you have a limited amount of time to take part or you will lose the deal, pressuring you to act now.
- Scare tactics – you are told a negative result or penalty will be imposed if you don’t act quickly.
- Secrecy – you are told the deal is extremely special and you are one of the select few invited to participate but don’t tell anyone.
- Payment – is requested in the form of gift cards, prepaid credit cards, wire transfers or crypto currency such as Bitcoin.
How to protect yourself
- Read the full contract before entering into any transaction or deal. Don’t hesitate to contact the Consumers Bureau or the Better Business Bureau for more information.
- Understand any contracts, estimates or other documents before signing them.
- When someone makes an offer at your door, be sure they are there for a valid reason and that they have valid identification before letting them in your home. Call the organization they are representing and if it feels wrong you do not have to let them into your home.
- Considering a major purchase or signing up for a special deal? Take a moment to talk it over with a trusted family member or friend, if you suspect the offer may not be legitimate.
- Do not disclose any personal information, including information about bank accounts, personal identification numbers (your bank card PIN), credit cards or personal finances to anyone.
Partners in fraud prevention
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
- The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre collects information on fraud and identity theft. They provide information on past and current scams affecting Canadians. They provide important information recognizing, reporting and prevention frauds.
The Competition Bureau of Canada
- Watch their Little Black Book of Scams Video Series
- Read the Little Black Book of Scams
- Discover free resources that are available to help you recognize, prevent and report fraud.
Manitoba Securities Commission
- Learn about investment fraud and how to report it.
Criminals will say anything to take your hard-earned money. Be cautious!
Even though parts of a scam may change, and new scams are created daily, the best way to protect yourself is to be informed.