Police Leaders Launch Provincial Campaign to Combat Break-and Enters

Police Chiefs Call On Ontario Government to Give Police Officers the Tools to Reunite Property Crime Victims with Stolen Property

TORONTO, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - Police leaders today launched the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police's (OACP) 2011 Crime Prevention Campaign by calling on the Government of Ontario to provide police officers in Ontario with the tools they need to reunite victims of break-and-enters with their stolen property, which often winds up in pawn shops, second-hand goods stores, and flea markets.

"Our police officers work closely with community groups and ordinary citizens to combat property crimes," said Chief Matt Torigian (Waterloo Regional Police Service), the OACP's First Vice-President. "When a person's personal property or their business property is stolen, not only do victims suffer a material loss, but many feel anger, fear, guilt, anxiety and sadness at what is a very personal violation."

The OACP's 2011 Crime Prevention Campaign will provide all police services across the province with public education materials which they can use to educate individuals and businesses on ways to avoid being victimized. The theme of this year's campaign is Break and Enter - It Shatters More than Glass.

Ontario's police leaders are renewing their call for the Ontario Government to stand up for victims of crime and introduce new legislation that would give police 21st century tools to investigate break-and-enters and reunite victims with their property, which often winds up in pawn shops, second-hand goods stores, and flea markets.

"We have been calling on successive provincial governments to update the hopelessly outdated Pawnbrokers Act - a law that is a century old - so that our officers can do what law abiding citizens want them to do: investigate crimes using modern investigative tools, locate stolen property, and reunite victims with their property," said Chief Torigian.

Chief Torigian stated that currently, property victims are victimized twice - once by the actual crime and then by seeing police officers have their hands tied when it comes to investigating property crimes because officers do not have access to modern tools such as electronic databases kept by businesses that deal in re-selling goods. The OACP believes that police services need access to electronic databases in order to locate stolen goods often disposed of in pawn shops, second-hand goods stores, and flea markets far from where a property crime occurred.

The OACP's 2011 Crime Prevention Campaign will include an informative booklet filled with crime prevention tips related to break-and-enters and other property crimes, as well as identity theft, fraud, auto theft, and an educational poster which will be used in community outreach by police services throughout the Province of Ontario.

SOURCE Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police

For further information:

Joe Couto Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police 416-926-0424 ext. 22 jcouto@oacp.ca

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Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police

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