Police in Prince George say rural crime is on the rise.
“We are asking that those people living in rural settings keep an eye out for one another’s properties and contact police if you see anyone or anything suspicious,” Prince George RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Jennifer Cooper said.
Crime has increased by 22 per cent in rural areas over the past three months.
“If you have a gate at your driveway, consider keeping it closed and locked, even when you are at home, to help deter thieves from entering your driveway. Also, make sure any doors and windows on your outbuildings are securely locked.”
A Statistics Canada study released in 2019 noted that rural crime was 23 per cent higher than the urban crime rate, and declined at a smaller rate than urban areas between 2009 and 2017.
Despite those statistics, which were reported by police, the study noted that’s not how the public feels.
“Compared with their urban counterparts, rural residents are, overall, more likely to be satisfied with their personal safety and to believe that crime is lower in their neighbourhood than elsewhere in Canada,” the study reads.
The study noted higher crime rates were driven by higher rates of physical assault, mischief and disturbing the peace. Rural police services reported those crimes around twice as much as urban ones.
“Rural properties can be a tempting target for thieves as the lack of close neighbours, setback houses and tree-lined properties make it easier to commit a crime without attracting attention,” the Prince George RCMP news release reads.
“Additionally, those homes and properties that get used seasonally means a would-be thief is less likely to be interrupted during the off-season months.”
Prince George RCMP suggest installing motion sensor lights on homes and outbuildings, making sure any trailers/RV’s have hitch or wheel locks, locking out large equipment, ensuring your house number is clearly visible on driveways during day and night, and installing security cameras.
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