Dangerous Canadian cities. A recent survey done by Mainstreet Research listed the 15 major Canadian cities where residents felt most and least safe. These cities ranged in size and often the perception of security didn’t match with the actual crime statistics. Below is the list of the 15 cities, along with the Crime Severity Index Score. The CSI score is a tool that tracks crime rates. The number takes into account volume of crime and seriousness of the offense.
The list goes from perceived most safe to perceived least safe:
- Ottawa, ON – csi 51.3
- Charlottetown – csi 48.5
- Victoria, BC – csi 63.8
- Moncton, NB – csi 75.7
- St. John’s, NL – csi 79.2
- Edmonton, AB – csi 105.7
- Halifax, NS – csi 61
- Vancouver, BC – csi 94.3
- Regina, SK – csi 125.8
- Calgary, AB – csi 74.6
- Quebec City, QC – csi 45.2
- Saskatoon, SK – csi 117.8
- Montreal, QC – csi 57.8
- Toronto, ON – csi 47.5
- Winnipeg, MB – csi 103.9
Winnipeg was perceived as the least safe Canadian city. Based on the CSI number, it is the second least safe Canadian city with a population over 500,000. Edmonton is the least safe based on CSI number. 55% of Winnipeg residents that were surveyed said they feel somewhat or very unsafe. This was the highest number of all residents surveyed.
Ottawa was perceived as the safest. The strong government presence in the city helped the perception. High tourism also helped the perception positively.
2050 people were surveyed across Canada by Mainstreet Research.
Home invasions are generally thought of as a premeditated confrontation in the victim’s home with the intent to rob and/or inflict violence. The impact of home invasion extends beyond the violence of the crime itself; it is particularly frightening because it has a predatory nature and violates the one place that we feel safe: our home.
All homeowners, both Canadian and American, can take some preventive measures to help minimize the risk of home invasion. Here are some preventive steps that can be taken to enhance your security:
Secure Your Home and Your Surroundings: This includes reinforcing your doors and doorframes and using deadbolts and sliding door locks. Keep windows visible from the street and consider the use of bars (ensuring a fire escape route is still possible) and devices such as security film which reinforces the glass. Have a well-lit exterior and ensure that the lights are not accessible and will not be tampered with. Consider the use of alarms and identifying valuable property with identification (e.g. engraving). Do not keep large amounts of money in your home and keep valuables in a safety deposit box. Also, you may consider having a “decoy” jewellery box with inexpensive yet valuable-looking pieces of jewelry. It may deter a ransacking of your home.
Do not Allow Strangers in your Home: Since this is one of the preferred methods of forceful entry (the other is through the garage) be vigilant and trust your instincts. You will need a good observation point where you can see people outside your door. You may observe them for a few minutes to try to determine what they want. You may also want to use an intercom system to talk through a closed door. DO NOT open the door to people you do not know, no matter how well-dressed they are or how kind they appear to be. If they claim to be representing a company (such as an electric or telephone company), call and confirm with the company before allowing them into your home. Any reputable representative will understand your precautions and should have the phone number readily available for you to call and verify.
Know your Community: Have a good sense of your surroundings including your neighbours habits and vehicles. Consider joining a Neighbourhood Watch program. Suspicious people or activities may be of interest to the police, so write down information that may be useful (description of suspicious vehicles or strangers, phone numbers identified as calls to your home that hang up, etc.).
Don’t Hesitate to Call 9-1-1 : There are numerous deceptions that can be used to have you unlock or open your door. Remember, if a stranger at your door needs assistance and asks to use your phone; offer to dial and call for them. If they claim that damage has been done to your parked car or that they need your signature, trust your instincts and play it safe. You do not have to and should not open your door to anyone, not even the police, until you have sufficient proof that they are who they say they are. If you are unsure, call 911. Stay calm and stay on the line. Give all the information requested and if you are unable to speak, a police unit will respond to your home.
Other Tips: The weakest link in home security is the occupant that fails to lock up and opens the home to strangers. The best defense against home invasion is education, planning and exercising good judgment. Practice role-playing different scenarios at the front door to feel entirely comfortable while making someone wait on the other side of the closed door. Get help from your family or friends to rehearse polite, yet firm responses to all types of potentially threatening situations. You may even want to deter home invasions by creating the illusion of others living with you. You may choose to put a pair of large boots out at the front door or a dog toy or drinking bowl. Finally, you do not want to be predictable. Vary your outings such as shopping or walks around the block.
If you become a Victim: Remember to stay calm. Further action beyond calling 9-1-1 and fleeing the scene may be necessary. Cooperating with the suspects may be your best option, as no amount of cash or material goods is worth getting hurt over. Take time to observe the description of the suspects: look, smell and listen to pick up on any identifying features. The Bulletin: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics claims that 68 percent of home invasion crimes are committed by strangers. (A further 21 percent were casual acquaintances of the victim and the remaining 11 percent were family, friends and business relationships.)
Although home invasions account for a small proportion of robberies reported to the police, you must raise your level of awareness, rehearse your refusal to open the door, take inventory of the safety aspects of your home and reduce the odds of becoming a home invasion victim.
No matter who you are, you always want to Think Protection and how to keep yourself safe. There are, however, some special precautions young women should consider to keep themselves safe at all times.
Keep a charged cell phone with you at all times while driving. No matter what the emergency, a cell phone can be your line to safety and something you always want with you. Keep all vehicle doors locked, and never let your gas gauge run under half full. You want to avoid running out of gas, or even having to refuel in a remote gas station at night. Always park in a well-lit, populated area and check the back seat before entering your vehicle. Also, never, under any circumstances, should you pick up a hitchhiker.
Safety with Friends
When hanging out with friends, always use a buddy system wherever you go. If you are walking down the street or hanging out at your favourite night spot, always make sure you have at least one friend with you. Whether you`re at a bar or a café, never leave your drink unattended or with a stranger. Either finish your drink or leave it with a friend you can trust who will keep it in their hands.
If walking with a friend is not an option, ensure you are always walking in a well-lit, well-populated area while alone. Keep an object such as a whistle with you to make a lot of noise such as a whistle if you feel like you are in any danger. Never, ever enter a stranger’s car or accept a ride from someone you don’t know well and make sure you have friends or family that know where you are.
Your home is your castle, and whether living alone or with friends, you have to keep it fully protected. Get strong deadbolt locks for all of the doors, and keep them locked at all times, even while you are at home. If you don’t have a home alarm system, get one immediately. They can protect you from home invasions and are statistically shown to prevent thieves from choosing your home. Even if you are renting or only living somewhere temporarily, you can get a home security system for a low monthly fee and no contract! Protect your possessions, your home and protect yourself!
Even with the most advanced home security system, your home will not be fully complete if you don’t have proper locks for your doors and windows. A good lock is a fantastic first step to making sure the bad guys can’t get into your home. By making it difficult for a thief to get into your home they will likely move on to an easier target.
Here are some tips on how to maximize your security by using the right locks:
Have secure front door locks. The door should have deadbolts in addition to keyed door locksets. Look for deadbolts with a 1-inch (2.5cm) throw bolt and an interlocking frame. Don’t choose a dual-cylinder device – the kind with a key for both sides. These can trap your family inside in the event of a house fire. If you have one now, replace it.
Consider also installing deadbolts on the door from the garage into your home. If your door has a window, secure it with a decorative grille that has no removable screws. This is especially important if the window or glass is within an arm’s length of the door handle, which could allow an intruder to break the glass in the window and reach inside to let himself in. We’ve all heard stories about how a burglar has broken glass by the front door and then simply opened the front door’s lock and then simply walked right into a home.
Cover the window with a curtain or shade to keep prying eyes out. Always draw all the shades or close the blinds at night to prevent intruders from looking inside to determine what you are doing, whether you are alone – or whether anyone is home.
Install a peephole in your doors. A peephole let’s you see who’s at your door without opening it. Once you open a door, you allow the person on the other side to gain entrance into your house. Even just opening the door a bit, can equal them busting through and into your home. If you don’t already have a peephole in your front door, a professional can easily install one. Choose the type with a fish-eye lens. Its wide-angle view allows you to see almost everything – and everyone – on your doorstep before you throw open that deadbolt and the front door. Make sure your porch light is at least 40 watts to properly illuminate nighttime visitors. Secure gate latches and garage and shed doors with sturdy padlocks that are designed to withstand rain and freezing temperatures.
Remember that having good locks for your home is incredibly valuable, but locks alone don’t protect you to the same degree as locks with a home security system. A home alarm will help add an additional level of protection. And not all home alarms are created equal, so do your homework and get the best system at your budget level.
All families are concerned with safety, both when at home and when away. Families with special needs share this concern. In addition, though they have certain issues other families may not have to deal with, which force them to focus on security at a higher level. Certain things like mobility, communication, and developmental delays make safety doubly important.
Here is advice from experts about how to handle this challenge.
Safety Plan Creation Tips:
- Include family and community members who come into daily contact with the special needs child.
- Think about all of the places in which your child needs to be protected.
- Consider the top safety risks for your child.
- Give your child a form of identification with contact names and numbers listed.
- Contact your local communications center, police department, and/or 911 call center to communicate your concerns and safety plan with the appropriate officials.
Safety In The Home Tips:
- Furniture – Secure top-heavy furniture and electronic equipment to the wall with furniture brackets or safety straps.
- Visitors – Teach your special needs child the safety rules about opening the door to visitors, especially if he is home alone.
With a little extra focus, families that have special needs can easily create a safety plan, which will let them live in confidence and comfort, knowing that they are prepared for any emergency.