October 2014

Constable McKinney’s Notes

Residential Safety
Your home is considered a sanctuary where you should feel safe. Your home is the only environment where you have control over who can get close to you or your family. Protecting your home and family from criminal intrusion should be high on your list of priorities.
There are and endless amount of resources on the internet with cheap ideas of how to make your home more secure. Some of these ideas cost money and expertise, others are cheap ideas that anyone can do.
Although home burglaries may seem random in occurrence, they actually involve a selection process. The burglar’s selection process is simple. Choose an unoccupied home with the easiest access, the greatest amount of cover, and with the best escape routes. What follows is a list of suggestions to minimize your risk by making your home unattractive to potential burglars.

Doors and Locks

• Use a solid core or metal door for all entrance points
• Use a quality, heavy-duty, deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt
• Use a quality, heavy-duty, knob-in-lock set with a dead-latch mechanism
• Use a heavy-duty, four-screw, strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame
• Use a wide-angle 160° peephole mounted no higher than 58 inches

Sliding-Glass Patio Doors

• Use a secondary blocking device on all sliding glass doors
• Keep the latch mechanism in good condition and properly adjusted
• Keep sliding door rollers in good condition and properly adjusted
• Use anti-lift devices such as through-the-door pins or upper track screws
• Use highly visible alarm decals, beware of dog decals or block watch decal


• Secure all accessible windows with secondary blocking devices
• Block accessible windows open no more than 6 inches for ventilation
• Make sure someone cannot reach through an open window and unlock the door
• Make sure someone cannot reach inside the window and remove the blocking device
• Use anti-lift devices to prevent window from being lifted out
• Use crime prevention or alarm decals on ground accessible windows

Be a Good Neighbour

• Get to know all your adjacent neighbours
• Invite them into your home and establish trust
• Agree to watch out for each other’s home
• Do small tasks for each other to improve territoriality
• While on vacation – pick up newspapers, and flyers
• Offer to occasionally park your car in their driveway
• Return the favour and communicate often


• Use interior light timers to establish a pattern of occupancy
• Exterior lighting should allow 100- feet of visibility
• Use good lighting along the pathway and at your door
• Use light timers or photo-cells to turn on/off lights automatically
• Use infra-red motion sensor lights on the rear of single family homes

Alarm Systems

• Alarm systems are effective deterrents with visible signage
• Alarm systems to be properly installed, programmed, and maintained
• Alarm systems need to have an audible horn or bell to be effective
• Make sure your alarm response call list is up to date
• Instruct your neighbour how to respond to an alarm bell

Home Safes

• Use the safe everyday so it becomes routine
• Protect the safe code and change it occasionally
• Install it away from the master bedroom or closet

Operation Identification

• Identify your valuables by engraving your drivers’ license number
• Consider using “SecuriTags” by TB Vets that are pre-marked stickers with your BC Drivers Licence number printed on them.
• Photograph and record the serial numbers of all valuables
• Photocopy the contents of your wallet and other documents
• Store the copies in a safe deposit box or with a relative

Additional Questions

1. Driveway gates

Is it safe to have a locked gate at the entrance to your driveway?

It may make it difficult for thieves to access your home, but it is a serious hindrance to fire crews in the event of an emergency. In rural areas such as Metchosin, some property owners prefer to have a locked gate at the entrance to their long driveways.

Pros – Privacy, sense of security, esthetics
Cons – Difficult for ambulance police and fire department to access residence if needed
Bad guys see this as a potential high value target, not everyone has gates

2. Alarm systems/response times

Is it practical for Metchosin residents to have home alarm systems since there likely will be a long response time for the RCMP?

• It is always a practical idea for alarms as they are a main deterrent for criminals
• All alarms go through the alarm monitoring company prior to being dispatched
• Alarms are specific to which door or window and motion sensor depending on levels of installation. As police we usually know what is false and what is not when it is dispatched
• All alarms require attendance unless cancelled. Ensure property representative contact information is kept up to date and use a neighbour as back up

 What is the response time for West Shore RCMP to attend to an emergency in Metchosin? (ie. B&E in progress, assault in progress)

In progress will probably take about 5-10 minutes responding at an emergency level to get as far into Metchosin as RCMP goes. Quicker without traffic etc

What is the response time for non-emergency calls? (ie. B&E has occurred but thieves have left)

All files in westshore that are non emergency are “triaged and will be dispatched accordingly. A B/E that has occurred could be a couple hours to 10-15 minutes

3. If an alarm company contacts your neighbour to check an alarm at your house (no one answers phone at your residence), what is the safe thing for the neighbour to do?

Take a flash light and a cell phone. Announce presence, do not get involved with bad guys. Look for opened doors and windows, strange vehicles in the drive way

4. What West Shore RCMP resources (if any) are dedicated to Metchosin? (follow up) How often are Metchosin roads regularly patrolled by the West Shore RCMP?

While Metchosin provides funding for a certain number of members, the Patrol members are not specific to a district. Many members patrol through Metchosin on a regular basis, meaning every shift, when busy that member may not have an opportunity to be in the area. Major events will see all available units responding