As cottage season comes to a close, Nova Scotia RCMP would like to remind cottage owners to take the necessary steps to prevent their property from being a target of crime.
Many break and enters are committed as crimes of opportunity, and criminals often see cottages as easy targets.
In order to guard your cottage against crime, the RCMP suggests adhering to the following tips:
– Remove all valuables from your cottage (including firearms)
– Lock / secure all doors and windows
– Close all curtains and drapes
– Ensure all out buildings (e.g., garage or shed) are secured
– Don’t leave tools and items outside that could be used to break into your cottage
– Ensure that your cottage is visited on a regular basis
– If possible, ensure adequate lighting is present
– Consider using motion sensors or timers for outdoor lights
Additionally, cottage owners are encouraged to install an alarm system and provide the alarm company with a contact name and number of someone who lives nearby. Cottage owners can also consider forming a ‘cottage watch’ program with other cottage owners and take turns checking on each other’s properties throughout the winter.
‘By providing your contact information to a friend or acquaintance who resides in the area year-round, you can ask to be updated should something happen to your cottage in the off-season’ says Nova Scotia RCMP spokesperson Cst. Mark Skinner. ‘Also, the more secure you make your cottage, the more difficult you make it for criminals to break in.’
Finally, communities can help police investigate when thefts occur at cottages. By doing something as simple making a phone call when you notice something unusual, citizens can actively aid an investigation. Noting things such as a vehicle description, a license plate number, or a description of a driver can do more than steer police in the right direction and lead to the recovery of stolen property and charges against those responsible.