With summer in full swing now is a good time to offer a few crime prevention reminders. When most people hear the words “seasonal crime prevention” they will think of traditional winter holidays and the New Year. Frankly, there are certain crimes that increase at specific times each year to include spring break and during the summer months.
One of the most obvious increases is in property crime such as burglary, theft and vandalism. Burglary can be further broken down into several categories such as burglary to a conveyance (vehicle), residential burglary, and commercial burglary. During the summer months it is not unusual to see an increase in the number of conveyance burglaries during the late night hours, and an increase in the number of residential burglaries during the daytime hours. Most conveyance and residential burglaries can be easily prevented by taking some simple precautions such as locking doors, securing valuables, and using alarms.
Like burglary, other property crimes such as vandalism, known as criminal mischief in our state, shoplifting, and grand theft auto all increase somewhat during summer months. Because it is also not unusual to see a steady number of juveniles or young adults arrested for committing these crimes during this time period, it is safe to say that increased parental supervision or enrollment in a summer youth program could also result in a significant reduction of property crime. Simply stated, parents should know where their minor children are, and who they are with at all times.
Another important point to realize is that most property crimes are crimes of opportunity. Therefore it stands to reason that if we eliminate the opportunity, we prevent the crime. For example, when visiting our parks or beaches if we secure our purses or wallets, if we lock our bicycles when not in use, and avoid leaving sporting equipment unattended, we greatly reduce the opportunity for someone else to take these items. Whether fishing, kayaking, or canoeing, bring only the equipment needed rather than leaving extra rods and reels, a fully stocked tackle box, or small electronics or other expensive items in plain view in an unlocked vehicle or unattended on shore. These are just a few examples of obvious ways to reduce property crime which are frequently not followed.
As your Sheriff, I am asking you to help us reduce property crime this summer by eliminating the potential and the opportunity for crime. For additional crime prevention tips please contact the Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit at (727) 582-5611. By doing your part you can help us to achieve our goal of “Leading The Way For A Safer Pinellas.”