Coquitlam RCMP has identified two crime hotspots across the Tri-Cities, reminding residents in these areas to keep an eye out for thieves stealing from cars, homes and businesses.
The first crime hotspot encompasses the areas between Lougheed Town Centre and the Vancouver Golf Club, stretching from North Road in the west to Fairview Street in the east, and from Cottonwood Avenue in the north to Austin Avenue in the south.
The second hotspot sits south of Coquitlam River Park, running from Shaughnessy Street in the west to Wellington Street in the east, and from Patricia Avenue in the north to Manning Avenue in the south.
When it comes to business crime, Coquitlam RCMP recommend staff training to deter would be criminals. The more staff greet and talk with customers, the less likely they are to commit a crime. But RCMP also recommends business owners train employees to recognize suspicious and criminal activity, and how to safely react before police arrive.
For vehicle crime, simple measures like locking doors, rolling up windows, and removing valuables are good first steps. But RCMP also recommends getting to know neighbours so that it’s easier to spot unfamiliar faces and suspicious activity.
Coquitlam RCMP release crime hotspots once every two weeks as a kind of public information bulletin designed to get the public to understand what the dangers are in a neighbourhood and to help change people’s behaviours that make them vulnerable to crime.
Hotspots often centre on neighbourhoods with a dense population, a high volume of traffic or a busy business district. But according to Coquitlam RCMP, they also signal patterns of criminal activity, like when a repeat offender or group of criminals is working in that neighbourhood.
Hotspots also help RCMP officers re-direct patrols and focus policing across the Tri-Cities.
“We have full time analyst that work on this all the time,” said Cpl. Michael McLaughlin.”[It's] what we call the cornerstone of preventative policing.”
In communities like Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, it’s important to remember that what makes a hotspot ‘hot’ is relative.
“We are blessed with a very low crime rate,” said the RCMP spokesperson.
“It could be three or four and that would be enough.”