Fewer break-ins so far in 2013

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Chatham-Kent police Const. Renee Cowell checks a basement window of a Chatham home for any signs of an attempted forced entry. Break-ins across the municipality were down 27% from January to September this year, compared to the same period last year.

Chatham-Kent police credit public awareness as a large reason break and enters across the municipality were down for the first three quarters of this year compared to last.

Const. Renee Cowell said from January through September this year, there were 708 break-ins reported. During the same nine-month period last year, there were 969 reported break-ins.

“Although Chatham-Kent has been hit hard economically; through education, communication, and community engagement, we have made local residents more aware of what they can do to reduce crime and enhance community safety,” Cowell said. “By reinforcing the ‘community policing’ model, we remind everyone that police can’t do it alone; we need the community to get involved and help make a difference.”

baCK-video-30sec from Chatham Voice on Vimeo.

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She credits the local media for publishing the police service’s daily media releases, which keeps the public informed of criminal activity in the community.

Police also utilize social media, including Twitter and Facebook, to get their message out directly to the public, and to receive feedback in a timely manner.

“Social media is a quick and efficient tool to disseminate information when looking for the public’s assistance in solving a crime or providing crime prevention tips,” Cowell said.

Overall, Cowell said education leads to empowerment.

“By educating our citizens, we empower them with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to take ownership and responsibility,” she said.

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