CHIEF CHATS: Protect yourself and your family this summer

Summer is in full swing and most of us are taking time away from work to travel, camp and enjoy our family and friends.

Summer is in full swing and most of us are taking time away from work to travel, camp and enjoy our family and friends. However for many of us that means we leave behind an empty house, leaving neighbourhoods vulnerable to property crime. But there are a number of ways to secure your home and reduce the likelihood of being the victim of criminal activity.

The Community Police Stations in Delta offer a free program called “Citizens are Security Active” or CASA that will send trained volunteers to your home while you are away to check for any suspicious activity and implement general security measures such as ensuring your mail is not piling up, while creating the impression there’s activity around your property. Our visible presence in the neighbourhood also acts as a deterrent; our volunteer fleet is clearly marked as Delta Police property and I’ve never known a criminal that wants to be around anything police-related.

Neighbours play a vital role in our home security as well. Let your neighbours and friends know you are away and leave a key with someone you trust. If you are leaving teenagers at home, be certain to have an adult stop in and check on them. Last month I wrote about the importance of knowing your neighbours in times of crisis and home security is based on the same principle. Neighbourhood safety runs on a spectrum; from the basic concept of looking out for each other during vacation times to the complexities around emergency preparedness. Nailing down the basics by getting to know your neighbours is a good start to having safer homes and communities.

While summer is a time for fun, it is also a time that brings a number of dangers. Much like protecting your home while you are away, there are basic principles to keep summer enjoyable while staying safe;

Do not drink and drive or operate a boat: rates of alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths has dropped substantially since the implementation of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition program, however we still see horrific accidents and this message cannot be repeated enough. Plan a safe ride home or the police will come up with an alternative for you.

Keep your children safe: the thought of a water-related accident strikes fear in any parent, and is one of the worst calls a police officer can respond to. Always use lifejackets on boats and keep the young ones in lifejackets when you are around lakes and swimming pools. Distractions are everywhere during social events and it only takes seconds for tragedy to occur.

Many accidents can be entirely avoided; protect yourselves using common sense and a safety plan. It is our wish that everyone has a safe and pleasant summer – be safe and get outside and enjoy the sunshine with your loved ones.

• Jim Cessford is chief of the Delta Police Department and has spent more than 40 years in law enforcement.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In 2019, roughly one person died every three days in Surrey due to illicit drug overdoses

123 people died in the city in 2019, down from the previous year

BC Liberals firing at NDP due to fact new Surrey hospital not in budget

But Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims says business case is needed first

United Nations designates Surrey a ‘Tree City’

Surrey is one of 59 cities in the world to receive the designation

White Rock seeks assistance for park rain damage

City applies for provincial funding following closure of Ruth Johnson Park and ravine

Surrey RCMP looking for missing boy, age 14

Brayden Ritchat, 14, last seen in the 10800-block of 141st Street in Whalley on Feb. 21

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

B.C. landlord can’t serve eviction notice because tenant is in jail

Homeowner baffled at arbitrator decision based on notice of hearing not being served properly

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read