The #9pmroutine is a movement that is supported by police forces across the world to reduce crimes of opportunity. While it's a worldwide movement, people right here in Strathmore are encouraged to follow a checklist at the end of the day to ensure their property is double-checked and secured.

According to the Alberta RCMP, from June to August 2018 there were close to 36,000 property-related incidents in RCMP jurisdiction and almost 50 per cent of all reported bicycle thefts occurred in the summer months.

Detachment Commander of the Strathmore RCMP Staff Sergeant Mark Wielgosz explained this short routine can be a great way to keep you and your property safe.

“The main purpose of the 9 pm routine is just to encourage people to be more vigilant about safeguarding their property and valuables.”

So what exactly is this routine? Wielgosz explained that the routine is something that is simple for people to follow that they can do when they get home in the evening at 7 p.m. or before they go to sleep at night.

“Take a walk around your home and make sure all your doors are locked, your windows are secure, and if you have a vehicle parked outside, just be mindful to ensure that it is also locked, not leaving any valuables within the vehicle within view,” he said.

“Of course purses and wallets, those are attractive to would be property criminals and making sure the keys aren't left in them (the vehicle) and again removing your valuable items from view. It might only take 5 minutes just to do a quick walk around to make sure things are locked up and we find that has a significant impact with reducing these types of crimes. So if we have a person who's trying to check cars down the street or walking around checking homes, if there's nothing of value, insight and everything is locked, they typically move on,” he noted.

Follow the checklist below to help reduce crimes of opportunity here in Strathmore:

  • Turn on outside lights at night

  • Lock your doors

  • Put away toys and bikes in a locked, safe location

  • Put away tools when you're finished with them

  • Put away outdoor equipment such as lawn mowers and weed trimmers

  • Lock up off-highway vehicles (ATVs, dirt bikes, etc.)

  • Double check vehicles are locked and keys are removed

  • Double check that your garage, shed, or storage doors are closed and locked

  • Set your home alarm (if you have one)

This routine is meant to prevent crimes of opportunity, which Wielgosz says are crimes committed because the criminal sees an easy chance to take advantage of things like your unlocked car or an open window.

“Quite often we find whether it be a break and enter, or theft from a motor vehicle, or even finding ways to access people's homes through motor vehicles, they're typically crimes of opportunity. What I mean by that is, perhaps the vehicle is left unlocked, maybe their keys are in it, perhaps someone accessed a garage door opener that way, or even windows or doors left unlocked and unattended,” he said.

“Those are what we refer to as crimes of opportunity. It does make it fairly easy for property offenders to access property and steal valuables. One way we try to remind residents to be vigilant and mindful of their property is to reduce the possibility of these crimes of opportunity and remove potential items of value so that way the properties and their items are less accessible and again less attractive for property offenders to try and commit theft,” he said.

For now, he says everyone has a role to play. “if everyone can participate in the 9 pm routine that goes a long way to helping us prevent or reduce crime in Strathmore.”

Join the movement by using #9PMRoutine and following the Alberta RCMP social media accounts on Twitter (@RCMPAlberta) and Facebook (@RCMPinAlberta).

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