The recent increase in break and enters has prompted the Toronto Police Service to implement new initiatives to better patrol and prevent these crimes.

Recently, 53 Division was a significant part of an investigation by the name of Project Yellowbird. The investigation resulted in the recovery of five million worth of stolen luxury vehicles and other valuables including jewelry, designer clothing and handbags, electronics, cigars, and guns. Twenty-three stolen vehicles were recovered, which had an estimated value of $2.3 million as a whole.

It is estimated that approximately 8,000 people are victimized as a result of residential break and enters in the City of Toronto every year. In addition to that, approximately 34,000 vehicles are stolen, however the vast majority of them are quickly recovered by police.

Educating the community has been identified as one of the most effective ways to prevent crime, and as such, has been a priority for 53 Division. Here in 53 Division we are continuously improving our communication and education with the public through both personal lectures, and the use of social media on topics such as residential security practices.  The more the community is aware of the best practices and the advancements in available technology, and the more it is utilized, the safer the community.

Become armed with awareness

With the improvement of technology comes newer and more efficient security devices which, when used properly, can vastly improve your personal and residential peace of mind and security. Security goes beyond simply having an alarm monitoring your doors and windows when you are away, it is about deterring the criminal and protecting yourself when in your residence.

Advancements such as the ability to remote arm a security system and monitor it from a smart phone have made home security more convenient and user friendly for homeowners. Other advancements, such as remote cameras, can allow you to check in on your property and ensure that your family is home safe and sound all from a remote location such as your workplace. Improvements such as these have virtually eliminated the 'false alarm' — ultimately reducing the cost of unnecessary security or police response. An additional added benefit of some home automation and security systems is the ability to control heat, air conditioning, and lighting. This can make your residence more energy efficient resulting in a reduction of household expenses.

"With the improvement of technology comes newer and more efficient security devices which when used properly can vastly improve your personal and residential peace of mind and security."

Increased peace of mind

It is true that every break and enter cannot be prevented; however; you can improve your peace of mind and decrease the likeliness of being victimized. A victim of a break and enter may not only have their property or vehicle stolen, but may experience emotional stress due to the violation of what they consider to be their safe space. 53 Division recommends all residents consider installing a home security system. If you have already made this investment, please ensure you use it! Many reported residential break and enters have had a security system but it was not activated when the crime occurred. An alarm is of no use if not used properly. The best security is common sense.