This information is directed towards seniors and their care givers in recognizing, safety concerns, frauds and scams in the District of Parry Sound. East and West Parry Sound Victim Services is committed to reducing these incidents against seniors and by working in partnership with police, other community agencies and seniors.

Some seniors who have been victimized are too embarrassed to report the incident. For your own well-being and to help others from becoming victims, if you have been victimized (or think you have been) REPORT THE CIRCUMSTANCES IMMEDIATELY TO YOUR LOCAL OPP.

On this site you will find general safety and security information for the prevention of crime. Additional information on your safety and security can be obtained from the East and West Parry Sound Victim Services, the links provided or by contacting your local OPP detachment

Feeling safe at home

Most people feel very safe in their homes. However, many seniors fail to take even fundamental precautions to secure their homes against robbery. Here are a number of precautions you can take

  • Conduct a security check of your home to determine possible entry points and any weaknesses they may have. Home security audits are available from Victim Services, your insurance agent and the police

  • Keep all entrances and garages well-lit at night.

  • Do not leave tell-tale signs that you are away.

  • Install good locks and always use them.

  • Install a wide-angle viewer in your front door which allows you to see visitors before you open the door.

  • Never open a door to strangers without credentials.

  • Change your routine often. Burglars often monitor activities in a neighbourhood.

  • Do not keep large amounts of money in your home.

  • Mark valuable items for identification.

  • Keep valuables in a safety deposit box at your bank. If this is not possible, keep them locked up in a reasonable hiding place in your home.

TIP: A few inexpensive but rich-looking pieces kept in the jewelry box as a decoy may deter criminals from further damaging your home in search of valuables.

 

It is important to take extra care in securing your home when you are going to be away for any extended time. Not only should your home be secure but it should also appear lived in.

  • Lock all windows, doors and garage before you leave.

  • Leave a radio playing to indicate that someone is home.

  • Leave one or two lights on, preferably operated by timers that turn on according to how dark it is.

  • Discontinue mail and newspaper deliveries.

  • Arrange to have someone pick up any newspapers, mail or flyers that are left on your step.

  • Leave a key with someone you trust.

  • Let a trusted neighbour know you’re going to be away, for how long and where you can be contacted if necessary.

  • Arrange to have someone cut the grass or shovel the snow if you plan to be away for several days.

When you are out and about….

There are ways in which you can reduce the risk of victimization and increase your sense of personal security when out and about in the community.

  • Walk only in well-lit areas.

  • Do not burden yourself with packages and a bulky purse.

  • Never display large sums of money in public.

  • Go shopping in pairs or in a group.

  • Walk in the centre of the sidewalk, away from alleys and doorways.

  • If you suspect you are being followed, cross the street, go to the nearest home, service station or business and call the police.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid areas that increase your chances of being assaulted.

  • Report problem areas to police. The police welcome the information and can also advise you of prevention methods.

  • It is wise for you to store the word “ICE” or “VIP” in your cell phone address book, and link it to the number of the person you would want to be contacted “In case of emergency”.

  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times, whether moving or parked.

  • If you are driving at night, use well-lit streets and parking lots that are open for easy observation.

  • Be cautious of any stranger approaching your vehicle. If you feel you are in danger, press the horn repeatedly in short blasts; this will attract attention.

  • If you think you are being followed, pull in to the nearest gas station or safe place. Do not drive home.

  • Plan and know your route before you leave, whether it is for a short drive in the city or a long trip in the country. Consider using a Global Positioning System (GPS) if you travel frequently to help avoid getting lost.

  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.

  • View the interior of your car before getting in to make sure no one is hiding inside, even if the doors are locked.

  • Have keys in hand so you do not have to linger before entering your car.

What if your vehicle breaks down?

• Pull your vehicle off the road so you will be out of the traffic;

• Turn on the emergency (four-way) flasher;

• When it is safe to step out of your vehicle, raise the hood;

• Stay in your vehicle with all doors locked and windows rolled up;

• If possible, call family or emergency road assistance and wait for help to come to you;

• Should a passing motorist stop, stay in your car and ask him/her to send help back to you.