Homes in rural Alberta are seeing a rise in break-ins and thefts. This issue has been on the radar of many communities for several years now, but it has recently begun to get increased attention in the press.
Rural Crime Statistics
In 2018, Statistics Canada released data that showed a steady increase in rural crime in the Prairie Provinces. It also revealed that, in Alberta, crime rates are 38% higher in rural areas than in urban ones.
Provincial Government Response
In response to this growing problem, in 2018 the provincial government announced a plan to crack down on rural crime, which includes putting $10 million toward hiring 50 new prosecutors and increasing funding for the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team.
More recently, Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer convened town hall meetings in eight communities across the province to hear from local residents and business owners about how they’ve been affected by rural crime.
Root of the Problem
At the centre of the issue of rural property crime in Alberta and elsewhere are long response times by law enforcement to break-ins in remote areas. While the provincial government is taking steps toward mitigating the problem, it’s important that rural residents do what they can to protect their home from break-ins, which typically occur when homeowners are away from home, especially for extended periods.
Fortify Your Home
A robust home security system goes a long way. It ensures that a control centre is informed and police services are dispatched immediately when an intruder trips the alarm. Moreover, displaying that you have an alarm system may deter thieves.
In addition, reinforce your doors with deadbolts, lock your windows when away from home and consider investing in motion-sensor outdoor lights and a yard gate.
Additional Precautions to Take When Away
If you’re away from home for a long time, take steps to conceal the fact that your house is unoccupied, for instance by setting light timers to simulate activity.
You should also enlist the help of the neighbour. Have them pick up your mail for you so that it doesn’t pile up. In winter, have them drive up and down your driveway when it snows to leave tire tracks. Better yet, you can pay them to clear your driveway. Read our in-depth blog about “Steps to Protect Your Home While on Vacation”.
If the idea of your home becoming the target of burglary concerns you, it is also a good idea to discuss a personal articles floater with your insurance broker to provide you with a larger range of coverage on high-value items in your home such as antique jewelry, collections, furs or sports equipment. It may not stop a crime from being committed, but you can rest easy knowing you won’t suffer a great financial loss as well in the process.
Protect Yourself With The Right Insurance Coverage
Make sure you have a good home insurance plan so that you’ll be financially protected in the event that your home is burglarized. Trust the experienced professionals at MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd. to help you get the best coverage. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation insurance quote.