The headlines are noticeable, and repetitive.
‘RCMP ask Parksville Qualicum Beach businesses for help battling thieves’
‘Police roundup: Thieves hit Qualicum Beach coffee shop, Parksville hardware store’
‘Would-be thieves target unlocked vehicles in Parksville’
‘Cops arrest Nanaimo man after rocks tossed through Parksville post office windows’
If you were checking the PQB News or visiting www.pqbnews.com in the last week or so, you might get the wrong idea.
There are not endless hordes of marauding criminals overtaking our communities.
They remain very safe, wonderful places to live and bring up your families.
But yes, there is crime. Like there is in every community.
As the weather warms and more ‘transient criminals’ as they’re sometimes called by law enforcement officials, pass through or stay for short periods of time, there may be a spike in break-ins and thefts.
Those ‘transients’, with no ties to the community, are surely emboldened by their relative anonymity.
So how do we help combat the problem?
By continuing to be vigilant.
Not to the point of paranoia, whereby every sighting of a person wearing a hoodie and walking down the street merits a string of breathless internet warnings or calls to police, but by being aware of our neighbourhoods and surroundings.
In this day and age of cellphones, message boards and surveillance cameras, it’s much easier to shine a light on crime.
A variety of useful internet groups do a good job of detailing potential suspicious activities.
This week, police put out a call asking businesses for their help providing forensic evidence that could be located for prosecution.
They offered up some useful tips regarding use of alarms, door locks, lighting and more.
They suggested businesses interested in having a volunteer officer attending their business to complete a review of security measures to contact the Oceanside RCMP @ 250-248-6111 and ask for the Secure Us program.
Oceanside Community Safety (www.oceansidecsv.org) is always looking for community-oriented people to help with a variety of programs, including block watch, bike and foot patrols, traffic watch and more.
Again, we should all consider ourselves lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Pitching in to keep it safe is something we can do together.