To report a residential crime, please dial 911 if the incident is:

  • an emergency
  • in progress
  • an immediate danger to yourself or someone else

Otherwise, please call 519-824-1212. or report online.

Always let them know if someone is home

Residential Break-Ins are typically crimes of opportunity. While it is common for victims to feel a sense of violation, burglars generally have little, if any, personal knowledge of the people who live there. You can minimize your risk by practicing the personal safety and crime prevention strategies outlined below.

Since most residential break and enters happen during the day when the homeowner is not home, it is important to realize that there is little chance of you encountering a burglar, provided you do not do anything to hide the fact that you are home if someone knocks on your door. It is therefore important that you respond to all door knocks by speaking through a locked door, unless you recognize the person. This includes training your children to safely respond to the door knock by having them let you know that someone is there. In the event that someone acts suspiciously, this includes them asking for someone who does not live there, call the Police.

 Detection in your neighbourhood
  • Keep your ears and eyes open for suspicious vehicles and people around your home.
  • Do not confront possible suspects.
  • Record the license plate numbers and description of suspicious vehicles.
  • Record detailed descriptions of occupants of suspicious vehicles.
  • Report your concerns and observations immediately to the Police.
 Reducing your risk
  • Record the contents of your home or cottage (including serial numbers) on paper or make a video recording and download it to a safe and easily retrieved place that is unlikely to be lost or stolen.
  • Consider installing a home security system.
  • Do not announce your absence on an answering machine or through social media.
  • Check identification of sales and service people. Use the phone number in the phone book or on the website, not a number the person at the door provides.
  • Don’t hide keys in secret places. Instead, leave a duplicate with a friend or trusted neighbour.
 If a crime has occurred

Call 911 if there is a crime in progress or an immediate threat to the safety of persons or property.

  • If you arrive at your home and suspect there has been a break-in, DO NOT ENTER, the criminal may still be inside.
  • Go immediately to a neighbour and call the Police.
  • Do NOT touch anything or clean up until the Police have inspected for evidence.
  • Note the license number of any suspicious vehicle.
  • Note the description of any suspicious person(s).
 Protecting your home
  • Make sure exterior doors are solid core wood or metal.
  • Install a good quality deadbolt lock on the door.
  • Secure sliding glass doors with commercially available bars or locks, or put a wooden dowel or broom handle in the door track. Burglars look for sliding glass doors because they are the easiest to open.
  • Keep the garage and tool shed locked. Do not give a burglar the resources to break into your home.
  • Remove all obstructions in your yard that could conceal a burglar breaking into your house.
  • Limit access to out of reach windows, lower roofs, second story windows and balconies. Lock up ladders and other objects that can be used as platforms whenever possible. Watch for large, overhanging tree limbs that may provide a means of access.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour to use your driveway or parking space when leaving the house for extended periods.
  • If you are away, make sure that your residence looks like it is occupied. Have the sidewalks shoveled, mail collected, grass cut etc. Set the lights to come on and off at different intervals.
  • Make “would-be” thieves visible, install motion lights or leave an exterior light on to illuminate entranceways and rear yards.
 Condo Safety Tips
  • Know whom you are letting in. Sometimes we just want to be good neighbours and hold the doors open. However, make sure that any guests you allow into the building are people that you know or confirmed visitors of residents.
  • Get to know your neighbours. As busy as life gets, it is important to get to know your neighbours, so all can work together to make sure everyone is keeping an eye out for what is happening around your home for everyone’s safety.
  • Be aware of suspicious behavior. Notify your building manager and/or security staff on site. However, if it is a more serious matter, notify the police.
  • Always lock up. You may think that leaving your door open for a quick minute while you take out the trash is a good idea, but that leaves your home vulnerable to thieves or other unwanted persons.
  • Add an alarm system to your unit with CCTV and cloud backup, with smart phone connectivity.
  • Add a door bell Camera that works with laptops, tablets, and smart phones.  It is a HD 1080p camera with a doorbell and 2-way communication.  Check with the Condo Board or management to see if mounting one on the outside of door is acceptable. Alternatively, install one inside your residence to monitor the entrance.
  • Be mindful of the parking garage. Always make sure you allow time for the gate to close behind you before you drive away. “Stop & Watch”.  This helps to ensure that others who do not live in the building cannot get access to the garage.
  • Keep your buzzer ID simple. Leaving your buzzer ID as your initials helps to reduce the chance of someone pretending to know you.
  • Know your exits. In case of an emergency, it is very important to know what the evacuation plan is. Emergencies are unpredictable, so be prepared!
  • Use your peephole. Even if you are expecting someone over, it does not hurt to take a peep at who is at your door before opening it. If you do not have a peephole, it may be a good idea to have one installed for your safety.
  • Change your lock. If you are new to a building, ensure that you change your lock just in case the previous tenant still has a copy of the key.
  • Make sure lights and broken fixtures are replaced immediately to detect unreported security issues.  If you ever see burnt out lights in hallways, stairwells, the parking garage, etc., notify your building manager about it. Lighting is a way to help in the prevention of crime and to increase the safety in and around the building.
  • Ensure the storage locker room has a good dead bolt on the entrance door. Also, ensure that your locker has a quality security rated lock. Have management install CCTV HD cameras on the exterior of the storage locker room with night vision capability. Conceal the contents of your storage locker with a tarp or plywood sheeting on the walls/door to deter window-shopping. Do not cover the cage roof due to Fire Regulation.
  • Call 911 if your observe criminal activity in progress. If it has already occurred, report the incident online or call 519-824-1212.

Designing a safer neighbourhood

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Brochure

Want your property/business assessed regarding CPTED concepts? Submit a request using the form below and an officer will attend your property/business to offer advice on how to minimize crime through CPTED. 


For information about how to keep your business safe, please visit our business safety webpage.