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Police walking the beat on Newmarket's Main Street

York Regional Police is boosting its presence and offering crime prevention tips to business owners during this period of temporary closures, reduced hours aimed at halting the spread of COVID-19
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York Region Police officers are walking the beat on Main Street in Newmarket. Greg King for NewmarketToday

Don't be alarmed if you notice an increased presence of York Regional Police officers in downtown Newmarket.

It is part of a move by the local force to help business owners keep their businesses safe during this period of temporary closures and reduced operation hours in the bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In partnership with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, York police encourages business owners to take proactive steps to help keep their businesses safe.

Break and enters are often crimes of opportunity, police say, so the less appealing and the more difficult you make it for thieves to break in, the more likely they are to move along.

Here are some safety tips to consider: 

  • Keep all doors and windows locked  
  • Ensure your exterior lights are functioning and have them on at night, including lights around rear  and side entrances  
  • Remove valuables from storefront displays 
  • Remove all valuables such as cash from the till and leave it open in plain view on the counter  
  • Keep some lighting on inside and consider using timer-controlled lights 
  • Consider installing a security system with an audible alarm, video surveillance and alarm monitoring and ensure it is functioning properly at all times  
  • Ensure the emergency contact list with your alarm company is up-to-date  
  • Remove obstructions around doors and windows so that they are in clear view  
  • If the premise is closed for an extended period of time, clean all glass surfaces and create a tracking log of when cleaning was completed. This may help investigators with suspect fingerprints in the event of a break-in  
  • Consider using a laminate on all windows and glass doors to prevent the glass from being broken by blunt force. Although damage to glass will occur in a break-in attempt, it will greatly discourage or prevent entry  
  • Consider installing latch guards on all entrances to prevent the door from being pried open  
  • Remove material around the exterior of the property that may be used to gain entry    
  • Clearly post signage on the door/window to indicate the premises is monitored by an alarm company, that no money is kept on the premises and contact information for police and the business owner in case a member of the public sees damage to the property or suspicious activity

Be aware of suspicious people or vehicles in your neighbourhood and call police immediately if you’re concerned. York police will respond to these calls.

For more information visit yrp.ca and click on Crime Prevention.