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Hemet Sheriff Station offers up crime prevention tips to keep people and property safe

 

Last updated 10/21/2017 at Noon



Anza has a wonderful small town flavor that attracts people to come and enjoy the seclusion from the big city hustle and bustle. But this atmosphere does not mean that crime does not exist here and that residents should become complacent with the security of their homes, possessions or property.

Crime statistics are up slightly for the first half of 2017 in Riverside County, according to figures released by the sheriff’s department in August.

“Property crimes increased by 3.3 percent, with all FBI Part I Crime in the unincorporated areas up by 1.5 percent in 2017, over the same time period the previous year. In the unincorporated areas of Riverside County, the overall increase in reported Part 1 crimes was impacted the most by reported thefts of property and cars,” according to the report.

FBI Part I crimes are defined as murder and non-negligent homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft and arson.

Vehicle theft increased 8.8 percent, property crimes increased 3.3 percent and larceny theft increased 3.1 percent.

These statistics are compiled using reports of crimes, so it is vital that anyone that has been affected by any crime make sure to report the event, no matter how simple it may seem or what the victim’s opinion of the police force may be.

Patrol staffing in unincorporated areas is set through discretionary funding established each year by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Beginning in fiscal year 2016-2017, the number of patrol staff assigned in the county areas was sharply reduced by budget cuts through routine attrition and staff reductions.

“Overall, the sheriff’s countywide workforce has been reduced by 10 percent over the past two years to meet sharply reduced budget targets for the agency as the county grapples with its stark fiscal challenges,” according to the sheriff’s department,

Less money for law enforcement translates to delayed response times to calls, less police presence that acts as a crime deterrent and reduced personnel to perform checks and investigations in a timely manner.

County officials have attributed increases in crime to the Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011, which reduced punishments for repeat offenders who fall into the ‘non-serious, nonviolent’ category and the voter-approved Proposition 47, which changed sentencing guidelines and made many drug and property crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies and mandated the resentencing of some criminals convicted of felony drug and property crimes, thus making them eligible for early release from prison.

link“Residents can help make their property safer and more secure,” Hemet sheriff’s station Lt. Zach Hall said.

Lock valuable items away and do not leave them unsecured in a yard or shed.

Use curtains and locks on all windows and the garage.

Have outside lighting and motion-sensing lighting in both the front and backyard.

Consider an alarm or surveillance system.

After purchasing expensive electronics or appliances, don’t leave the box out beside the trash can or recycling bin. Crush the box and put it inside the container until it can be disposed of properly.

Always lock vehicles and take the keys inside, even home.

Never leave any windows or sunroof open.

Never leave personal property unattended in a vehicle, such as purses, wallets, tablets, phones, etc.

Park the vehicle inside a garage or barn if possible.

Make sure a home looks occupied when on vacation, and have a good relationship with neighbors so they can be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary and make a report to law enforcement if needed.

Never leave a key outside in a “secret” place.

Many of the crimes committed in Anza and the surrounding areas are crimes of opportunity. Carelessness with car keys, leaving items out and available to steal and not being vigilant can encourage a thief to take advantage.

Don’t be a statistic; resident should do everything reasonable to safeguard themselves, their family and their property. If something does occur, report the incident to the sheriff’s department. For emergencies, call 911; to reach the non-emergency dispatch, call (951) 776-1099.

For more information regarding crime prevention, visit www.riversidesheriff.org/crime/prevent-victim.asp.

To get real time news of local crime events, safety tips and advice, plus much more, check Anza Crime Watch on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/387944988000716.

 

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