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Belleville Police want to help citizens protect themselves

By Joseph Quigley [1] 

BELLEVILLE – The Belleville Police Service wants to “make a difference in community safety and well-being” during this year’s Provincial Crime Prevention Week. [2]

The weeklong event takes place Nov. 2 to 8. The Belleville Police Service will be hosting a speaker series from Nov. 4 to 6 at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre [3]. The talks, which run from 6 to 8 p.m., will be about personal safety and security.

Inspector Marlene Gray said this kind of event series is unprecedented in Belleville.

“This is a new direction for the service,” said Gray. “(We are) trying to think about what will be the best thing to help the citizens of Belleville with the information we can provide to them.”

The first talk, on Nov. 4, will discuss Internet safety. The common theme to this discussion will be “once it’s out there, you can’t take it back,” a news release from the police service says.

Gray said she wants the discussion to help people avoid online scams and be more careful with what they post online.

“There are a lot of issues right now surrounding Internet,” she said. “It seems like every week we get different people calling in. Social media is a huge part of everyone’s lives right now. This is the direction and this is where our society is going.  Just because you think you’ve deleted it, we can find it, other people can find it. We just want to get that information out there. If you have the knowledge, then you can try to protect yourself.”

The discussion on Nov. 5 will centre on crime prevention through environmental design – changing your home environment to make your house secure. Topics include having proper locks on doors and having sufficient lighting.

Gray said it’s important to make your house a difficult target for criminals. She said she hopes that spreading this information can help people avoid the pain of having their home broken into.

“Don’t make your house (vulnerable), for somebody to think, ‘That’s an easy target.’ If we could even stop one or two break and enters from happening (through this discussion) then, it doesn’t seem like much, but that’s one family that doesn’t have to go through that kind of trauma.”

There will be a showcase on Nov. 6 of the various units that comprise the Belleville Police Service. The units – including traffic, forensic identification and emergency response – will share their role with the community.

Gray said this discussion will give people a chance to see what the Belleville Police Service is about.

“We’re here to help the community, make it a safe environment, a safe place to live,” she said.