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Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association 2014 Workshop Information *REGISTER NOW!*

Theme: “Bringing Alberta Together ….Building Resilient Communities”
When: November 25, 2014
Time: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Where: Clarion Hotel & Conference Centre
Address: 2120 – 16 Avenue NE, Calgary                                                                                                 Phone: 403-291-4666
Registration costs –   Members: $110    Non-Members: $140 

Note: Hotel accommodation for workshop registrants – $114 per night, plus taxes.  Please indicate when you register that you are attending the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Workshop.  Also, you may make a reservation online – reservation@clarioncalgary.com

Keynote Speaker: Sheldon Kennedy, Sheldon Kennedy Advocacy Centre
Topic: “How government, corporate and community can work together to build more resilient communities” 

Overview of Workshop
This years’ Workshop will showcase four provincial municipalities who work in collaboration with other agencies/services in their respective community to help reduce crime. 

Presenting Municipalities:

Grande Prairie – “Child & Youth Intervention Program and how it operates in partnership with other agencies/services”.  Presenters: Grande Prairie Crime Prevention; Grande Prairie RCMP and other participating organizations. 

Fort McMurray – “CPTED and Crime Free Multi-Housing at the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo  and Wood Buffalo COP Program“.  Presenters:  Crime Prevention Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Fort McMurray RCMP.

REACH Edmonton – “Presentation of case study about a collaborative entitled WrapEd Youth Gang Prevention.  Presentation will be made of some very preliminary results achieved as the program is now fully operational.  WrapEd is a partnership of community-based organizations, municipal government, school boards and law enforcement that came together to apply for funding from National Crime Prevention Centre.  The investment is intended to support strategies that prevent at risk youth and youth involved in gangs from engaging to further gang activity.  There are 6 core partner organizations and 4 supporting organization involved and REACH played the role of the backbone organization.  Presenters: REACH Edmonton and John Howard Society.

Brooks – “An overview of community collaboration in the fight against domestic violence.  The involvement of the community, as well as the statistics to support the success of the program will be shared.  Presenters: – Cantra Safe House, Healthy Families Outreach and Brooks RCMP.

Also, Alberta Community Crime Prevention will be conducting its Annual General Meeting which will be a very short business meeting

ACCPA’s Vision Statement “Albertans Making Communities Safer Together”

See you soon!

Workshop Registration

ACCPA 2014 Workshop Schedule – Tuesday, November 25, 2014

8:00 – 8:30 am                        Registration Desk Opens

8:30 – 8:45 am                        Opening of Workshop – Karen Gariepy, ACCPA President
                                                                         Workshop Emcee – Sarah Thompson, ACCPA Board Member

8:45 – 9:00 am                        Welcoming Remarks: AB Ministry Justice and Solicitor General

9:00 – 9:45 am                         Keynote SpeakerSheldon Kennedy                                           

9:45 – 10:00 am                       Question and Answer Period

10:00 – 10:15 am                     BREAK

10:15 – 11:15 am                     Presenter: Grande Prairie

11:15 – 11:45 am                     Annual General Meeting

11:45 am – 12:30 pm              LUNCH

12:30 – 1:30 pm                       Presenter: Fort McMurray

1:30 – 2:30 pm                         Presenter: REACH Edmonton

2:30 – 2:45 pm                         BREAK

2:45 – 3:45 pm                         Presenter: Brooks

3:45 – 4:15 pm                         Question and Answer Period     

4:15 – 4:30 pm                         WRAP-UP and BAG LUNCH

Have a safe journey home!”

 

October 2014 Column – Putting Environmental Design & Social Planning for Safer Communities to work in Alberta

This months’ column is prepared by Steve Woolrich, a former board member of ACCPA and now a private consultant based in Red Deer. Steve works with various municipalities and other provincially based crime prevention initiatives such as the Alberta Gang Reduction Network. One of Steve’s recent projects is a clear example of how crime prevention initiatives can involve a whole community and how it can improve the Safety and perceived quality of life. We hope you enjoy this months’ column and welcome any feedback you might have

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Can we design out crime and reduce the potential for violence, property crime and social disorder in the communities we live? Absolutely, one solution is called Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and it’s been constantly evolving. The origins of CPTED date back to the 1960s but many practitioners are shifting their attention to what is referred to as Second Generation CPTED. In many cases community planners, security professionals, police agencies and architects are still using traditional methods. It’s time to take a second look and embrace an improved approach that better suits the needs and concerns of all community stakeholders.

The International CPTED Association (ICA) defines it as a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design. CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts by affecting the built, social and administrative environment. As a practitioner of both traditional and second-generation methodologies the proof as they say is in the pudding. How can we interact and feel safe in our environment without considering the social cohesion that must exist in order for a community to be healthy and thrive?

This summer a new initiative called Art Alley was launched in Red Deer, Alberta and embraced both traditional and second generation CPTED. The Red Deer Downtown Business Association and the City of Red Deer Social Planning department funded the project. Being asked to lead the summer project was an eye opener and only strengthened my belief that all communities can benefit from using these strategies. The initiative focused around a particular back alley known to many of the downtown businesses, residents and RCMP.

After several planning meetings, a project team was chosen consisting of five local artists including Danielle Stewart a photographer/videographer that visually documented the work. The other four artists included Stephen Birch, Jesse Gouchey, Emily Thomson and Mike Villasana. All the artists brought their own unique styles to the various walls of the area, including a series of small murals on the John Howard Society. The game plan was to not only create great art and revitalize the area but invite several high-risk youth to work closely with the artists. One particular young fellow with a zest for art enjoyed the experience immensely. For the most part, all of the murals were painted using spray paint, Gouchey and Birch’s preferred medium. However, Thomson and Villasana added their own unique brush strokes creating two very artistic pieces of their own.

So, the bottom-line always comes down to results, especially for those funding a project such as Art Alley. Did it change the environment and improve safety? Has there been an impact on crime? Was there success and will Art Alley be funded again in 2015. The response is an overwhelming Yes! The local businesses and social agencies in the area claim that it has brought new vitality and some much needed color to the downtown. Many folks are no longer afraid to walk down the alley because it seems that there are suddenly lots of people wanting to take in the sights. Seems it’s also slowed down traffic, improving safety. Last but not least, some great mentoring occurred with other social agencies hoping to jump on board next summer and help paint the town Red – Deer

How does environmental design or CPTED factor into this project! The (3) primary and (2) supporting principles typically used are:

  1. Natural Surveillance
  2. Territorial Reinforcement
  3. Natural Access Control
  4. Activity Support
  5. Maintenance

The Art Alley project has created more eyes on the street (alley), improving natural surveillance. More street art has helped develop a new sense of territorial influence by building and business owners while discouraging access to some crime targets. The increased activity support and improved maintenance around the mural sites is a welcomed improvement – a win, win situation for everyone but the criminals.

Visit the Art Alley Facebook Page

For more information on CPTED visit the International CPTED Association

The answers are all around us, each and every day. As community members and crime prevention practitioners we should be helping to foster a culture of caring and encouraging strong partnerships that will remain sustainable for years to come. It’s projects such as Alberta based Art Alley project that can help all of us to care more, connect with others and communicate through various mediums, including street art.

September 2014 Column – Education Plays an Important Role in Managing Our Digital Footprints

This month our contribution was prepared by Kathy Macdonald, M.O.M., Security Consultant, Cyber Safety Specialist YouthLink Calgary, Retired Police Officer, and a current ACCPA Board Member.

The Internet has become an integral part of our lives. From online games to social networking, the Internet can be a wonderful place to conduct business, access news, play games and generally stay connected with friends. However, with unlimited access to information comes the risk of clicking on untrusted links, visiting unscrupulous websites and communicating information and images that should have remained private. These and other online activities can lead to a loss of privacy and a very real threat to our personal and financial well-being. Other online risks exist as well, including viral infections from malware, and a torrent of scams that can lead to identity theft and fraud.  Moreover, of particular concern to parents, is their child’s connection to on-line predators and their desensitization from viewing highly sexualized images and content.

As a cyber safety specialist at the Calgary Police Service for the many years and currently at YouthLink Calgary, parents have asked me how to keep their children safe from online dangers. Some have become concerned after viewing their child’s questionable online conversations. Others have become alarmed upon learning that their kids are using the Internet to search out information about relationship problems, dating advice, and human sexuality rather than asking them.

In particular, parents are frustrated and frightened to learn that their children are accessing controversial and somewhat scandalous websites like Omegle, ChatRoulette or Ask.fm.  Generally, parents worry about the long-term effects of exposure to violence in games and sexualized images, and speculate whether sharing highly personal photos and personal information with others online is just a function of growing up on the Internet. They worry that seemingly innocuous activities will have long-term negative effects on their child’s reputation, privacy, and mental health.

 

In my opinion, one activity that is particularly worthy of parental concern is “sexting.” Sexting is defined as sending and receiving sexually explicit images, whether photographs or video, which are nude or semi-nude via an electronic device.  Of course there is a risk when any image is circulated on the Internet; however, it can be extremely damaging to a child’s emotional well-being when an intimate image is shared and subsequently forwarded and re-circulated in cyberspace. A further danger occurs when that image is used to harass, embarrass, threaten, blackmail and otherwise exploit that child. This often creates ongoing problems at school and in the community; once any image is transmitted electronically it is extremely difficult to remove it. Earlier this year, for example, a 16-year-old Saanich, BC, girl who texted naked pictures was found guilty of child pornography and uttering threats.

To alleviate the risk of sexting, here are some preventative/proactive tips that I often impart to parents to help monitor for “sexting” while still respecting their child’s privacy.

  1. Before giving your child a mobile device, have a conversation about rules surrounding the appropriate use of the device.
  2.  Agree on well-defined personal boundaries regarding taking and sharing personal photographs and videos. Consider signing a family contract with your child agreeing on paper that they never take nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves.
  3. Once the child has the device, be aware of, and monitor on an ongoing basis, the apps your kids are using. Kids often believe that their photos disappear using certain apps or that their activities are anonymous when they use certain apps and websites. Tell them that there are still opportunities to capture screen shots using these platforms and that risks are always present whenever an image is sent or received.
  4. Foster a level of mutual trust and encourage your kids to tell you if they encounter any kind of problem. Make sure they know that you will support them regardless of what they may have inadvertently come across online. Visit www.needhelpnow.ca for additional support on the topic of sexting.
  5. Help your kids set up accounts with strong passwords on approved websites.
  6. Set up an alert to help monitor their online identity at a reputable alert site like www.google.com or www.twilert.com

Education plays an important in staying safe online!  On September 17 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, GetCyberSafe is airing its first-ever English conversation titled #CyberTalk. The French portion will take place on September 24 at 1:00 p.m EDT. #CyberTalk is a real-time, online Q&A where Canadian parents can ask questions to leading experts on cyber security, online safety, and parenting. The discussion will give parents answers about cyberbullying, how to keep their children safe online and on social media, and what types of online controls should be in place to protect their children from Internet dangers.

 

Additionally, October 2014 marks the 14th annual Cyber Security Awareness Month, a joint effort by government and business leaders from across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. This event puts into effect better practices and safeguards to combat cyber crime with the goal of raising awareness about cyber safety.

Internet safety is an important topic in family life these days. Parents can protect their children by being proactive, responsible role models. Parents can obtain assistance with this balancing act from helpful websites from Canada like www.cybertip.ca and looking to great events like #CyberTalk. With appropriate support, managing our digital footprints is more straightforward and less problematic than ever before. Stay safe and have fun online!

August Column: Crime prevention when travelling

We are in the midst of summer when many people and families engage in travel. Although a time that most of us look forward, it is also a time that we need to be aware of some of the risks when travelling.

This month’s column was prepared by Chicago based Karen Knecht, Global Talent & Leadership Manager at InterContinental Hotels Group. Karen enjoys travelling the world and going out to enjoy different food and drinks. She shares some great tips we can all follow when we are on the road to prevent crime. The objective of this column is not to be an alarmist but to promote a level of awareness so that you have a positive holiday experience.

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It feels like we are surrounded by criminal activities day in, day out: news reports show crimes that just happened, we read books about serial killers, and we watch TV shows which add drama to situations that might have happened at one stage in time. Don’t let this be your fate though, especially when you travel or go out to enjoy summer! Hotels and restaurants are focused on your safety and security. Team members get regular training which helps them with identifying suspicious people and packages, preventing fraud, and handling incidents involving intoxicated patrons. We as individuals can do our part to prevent crime and/or being a victim of as crime. For example, being aware of our surroundings and identifying suspicious people and packages.

So what makes somebody a suspicious person?

In general suspicious people portray nervous behaviour such as avoiding eye contact, glancing around, sweating profusely, tapping their feet, and moving faster or slower than people around them. They hang around areas nobody else is present, or sit in a corner and look out for potential victims who leave their briefcases, suitcases, purses, or cell phones unattended.  They sometimes wear inappropriate or over-sized clothes like a coat on a warm day which enables them to hide something in it. Keeping their hands in their pockets can indicate that they might have a weapon.  Very suspicious behaviour is when somebody tries to open hotel or car doors, one after the other.

And what makes a package suspicious?

Any unattended bag, briefcases, packages, etc. can contain an explosive device.  Take caution is you receive a package or letter that is addressed to your company, but not directed to a specific person or department. These suspicious packages might also have inappropriate or unusual labeling: no return address, distorted handwriting, misspelled common words, uneven surface, appears to contain no correspondence, excessive postage, incorrect titles or title without a name, threatening language or pictures, postmarked from a city or state that does not match the return address, delivered by unexplained or unusual means, oily stains or discoloration, powdery substances (felt or appearing), peculiar odors, bulky, protruding wires or aluminum foil, excessive weight, ticking sound, etc). DO NOT TOUCH any of these suspicious packages, evacuate the area and contact security or police immediately.

So what should you do when you encounter a suspicious person?

It is very important that you don’t panic! Always be polite and courteous (smile and use eye-contact) when you greet the person and ask if you can help them. Note details about the person such as hair color, height, weight, clothing, ethnicity, gender, etc. Then contact security or police and tell them which direction the subject was heading to so they can follow up.

Here are a number of tips you can consider to avoid being a victim:

  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Don’t talk on the phone or text when you walk down a street as this might distract you and make you an easy target.
  • Don’t look like a tourist! Put your camera away if you are not taking pictures, fit in wearing appropriate clothes, and don’t look at your travel guide in plain sight.
  • Put your money in a money belt or in an inside coat pocket. Don’t carry all your money and credit cards with you. Use traveler checks or pre-paid credit cards.
  • Keep a copy of your passport, ID, credit cards, etc. in a safe place. If you lose the original you have the details available so can replace documents easier.
  • Use the hotel safe to store your valuables.
  • Don’t leave your credit card out of your site. It is easy to take a picture of your cards and use the information on the internet.
  • Only use marked taxis and note the taxi number.
  • Ask a trusted person what areas you should avoid walking around. Most cities have areas you don’t want to end up in!
  • Don’t walk or stand too close to the road.
  • Wear a bag that cannot be grabbed easily. Put your bag on your lap or somewhere it cannot be grabbed easily when you are sitting down.
  • Don’t put your cellphone on the table of outdoor restaurants. It’s very easy for somebody to grab it and run away.

Follow these tips and have a fun summer!

July Column: Vacation safety tips

Summertime, Summertime, Summer-Summer Summertime: Having a safe (summer) vacation

This month our contribution was prepared by Kathy Macdonald, who is a Security Consultant, Retired Police Officer, and a current ACCPA Board Member.

As this article points out, summer time is a time to “get away from it all.” Unfortunately, no matter where you might go, there is no vacation spot that is 100% safe from potential criminal activities. For example, as exotic and interesting as some destinations might be, they all carry a certain risk. South Africa which hosted the 2010 World Cup Football/soccer championships is ranked by many sources as one of the most violent countries. It is ranked first in the world for assaults and second for the number of murders. Therefore, with a little awareness about the crime prevention measures that you can incorporate into your daily routine, you can reduce your risk of ‘spoiling’ what should be a ‘great’ time.

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The beginning of summer brings a break from school, hot weather, possible travel and the opportunity to take some well-deserved holidays. Summertime can be a magical time of the year for the entire family and/or loved ones. Please consider a few of these simple precautions to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of crime over the upcoming summer holidays.

Leaving your home while on holidays?

Have a friend or neighbour visit your home to check on things, mow your lawn, and pick-up your mail.  Better yet, why not cancel your mail delivery all together while you are away. Remember, it’s not wise to advertise your vacation plans, in advance, in social media, or post holiday photos on websites like Facebook and Twitter. Turn off the ‘Location Services’ on your camera to ensure that you are not publicizing your geographical location when you do post your holiday photos to the Internet.

Taking a driving holiday?

Always wear a seatbelt and have properly installed car seats for your children. Advise your friends or family of your travel route and the approximate times you plan to arrive at your destination. Lock valuables in your trunk and never leave an animal in the car alone, even for a short time. Stick to well-travelled roads whenever possible and take a charged cell phone in case of emergencies. If you need to use your GPS or your cell phone while you are driving, pull over to the side of the road or to a texting rest area when it’s safe so as not to engage in distracted driving.

Protecting your personal identifying information while on holidays.

Before you leave home, make copies of your current passport, birth certificate and any other important identification and leave these copies with someone at home, or a trusted friend or family member.  Slim down your wallet and take only the necessary identification needed for the trip. Some hotels require your passport overnight; try to give them a certified copy instead of your original passport. If you are traveling internationally record the contact information for the closest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

What about your credit card and debit card?

When traveling contact your credit card company to set up a spending alert. You can advise them where you are traveling and how long you will be away. Perhaps arrange for a low credit limit temporary credit card. Try not to carry large amounts of cash and be wary of private ATM machines on side streets, hotel lobbies, strip bars and food courts. These machines can be targeted by organized crime for skimming, money laundering, and robbery. Always cover the keypad while entering your PIN information, use mainstream commercial banks whenever possible and obtain a transaction record to help monitor and detect unauthorized transactions. Report suspicious activity promptly to your bank.

ATM1

An example of a street ATM machine that is tucked behind a wall and not very well maintained. Photo by Kathy Macdonald June 2014

Should you worry about theft theft and pickpocketers?

Yes, crowded places and popular tourist destinations tend to be common locations for pickpocketing and distraction theft. Watch for deliberate distractions, keep a safe distance from people and watch your mobile devices, laptop computers and luggage in places like airports, hotel lobbies, and food courts. Carry your camera and wallet in a safe place in front of you rather than in a backpack. Maintain a higher sense of security awareness in congested locations. Don’t pick up hitchhikers or accept rides from strangers.

What if you get sick while on holidays?

Be aware of health risks in certain countries. Research government and travel websites regarding the area you are traveling in case of health concerns and follow general precautions relating to immunization and preventive medication against insects, and local disease outbreaks.

Are you safe in a hotel? 

Check your stored luggage at the claim desk whenever possible and avoid leaving luggage unattended for any length of time. Look for the emergency exit closest to your hotel room and keep shoes, keys, wallet, passport in the same location for easy exit in case of fire or alarms.  Ask the concierge about safe locations to go jogging, swimming, walking, and hiking. If you are traveling alone advise the hotel of your expected return time. Tell your kids to verify visitors to the room before they open the hotel door and use the door chain or the secondary door lock when you are inside your hotel room.

What about my computer and mobile device security while traveling?

People are reliant on access to the Internet while traveling but be wary of free public Wi-Fi. These locations are typically unencrypted and even if they are encrypted, they may compromise the security of your social networking, email, or financial accounts. Also, just because you pay an access fee to a Wi-Fi network it doesn’t mean that the network is secure. Turn off Wi-Fi when you’re not using it to prevent from automatically connecting to networks and this will also extend your device’s battery life. Sign out of your website accounts after accessing them and change your passwords on a regular basis. Enable the settings on your mobile device to wipe the data if someone tries to access it after several unsuccessful attempts. Enable self-location and anti-theft software. Whenver possible keep the device with you, if not possible, remove the battery, memory and SIM card and keep these separate from the device. Avoid charging your device using a USB of an unknown or untrusted source and keep your antivirus, firewall and all software enabled and up to date. Use lost phone apps and if your device is lost or stolen or there’s been a security breach, quickly and remotely perform a factory reset from any computer connected to the Internet. This will wipe out all of the device’s data and lock it indefinitely.

On behalf of all of us at ACCPA, have a wonderful summer with many safe and fun adventures.

Save the date!

SheldonKennedy

ACCPA will be hosting a conference on November 25th, 2014!

Time and location are still to be determined, but we are honoured to announce that Sheldon Kennedy, from the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, is going to be our keynote speaker! This conference will focus on Youth Resilience.

Stay tuned for more details!