OPP campaign angers residents

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You may have seen some notices posted on car windscreen around Kemptville last weekend. The OPP were carrying out their “Lock It or Lose It” crime prevention program, randomly checking cars parked around the town to see if they were locked and if any valuables had been left open to view by passing criminals.

Where a car was found to be locked, the notice congratulated the owner, as you can see in the photograph. But where the officers found an unlocked car, or valuables lying openly inside, the notice was less friendly. The idea behind the campaign may make some sense. Vehicle owners need to be aware of the risk they run by leaving their cars unlocked. But the response to the campaign, as represented on the Times Facebook page, seems to indicate that residents were not always in sympathy with the OPP on this issue. Here’s some of the comments:

Lindsay: I can’t believe they’re doing something like this. Really productive OPP. I think this is a waste of time it’s not going to stop people from leaving their vehicles unlocked.
Robert: What about the convertible? The motorcycle? Should it be against the law to drive them on the street? Can’t lock them up. Stupid people in power.
Sandra: I think it should be up to the driver, their property if they want to lock it or not, as my dad always said “A locked door never stopped a thief if they really want in” all they got to do is smash a window.
Corey: Exactly. If you make sure there is nothing of value in your vehicle why would you make it so they have to damage your vehicle to find out. I’d rather lose a couple bucks in parking meter change and keep my window.

However, not everyone saw it that way, and this led to some interesting discussions:
Monica: I always lock mine but I think this is a waste of time and if people choose not to lock their vehicle that’s their problem. If you’re old enough to drive you’re old enough to be responsible for your property. When did we have to babysit adults ?
Sheena: I’m not one to comment on things like this but really… As a vehicle owner I feel it’s our responsibility to lock doors and keep things hidden. I did leave my door unlocked one time in a parking lot and did have things stolen… 100% my fault, I knew better. Why wouldn’t you use police for something more productive? Like speeding or drinking and driving? Frankly I wouldn’t be impressed if anyone was checking my vehicle police or not, it’s my property. Unless I’m breaking the law, leave my things alone. Pretty disappointed in the lack of brains used here.
Lisa: It is most certainly not 100 % your fault that someone committed a criminal act and stole your belongings. I walk by unlocked cars every single day, and I’ve never once stolen anything from in them.

Other comments pointed out the possible results of the posting the notices:
Rob: So the officers are saving the criminals time by flagging the cars that are vulnerable, great idea.
Tamara: Doesn’t the post on the window saying you have not locked your car and you have left valuables in sight just kind of red flag you to have your stuff stolen… might as well paint a big target on it! Lol

Perhaps a more fascinating point was raised concerning the right of the police to enter your car for any reason:
Peet: Usually, I would call the police in a case like this, but if it is the police who are trespassing on or to my property, I’ll be asking questions post action.
Michelle: What makes them think they can enter someone else vehicle without permission? Yes, I understand the purpose, but that makes them just as bad as the thieves.

There were those who appreciated the campaign:
Nancy: Excellent! We need more reminders of how to stay safe and keep our treasures in our hands, not someone else’s. Kudos to the OPP for his effort!

Check out our Facebook page regularly: there’s usually something encouraging residents to have their say.

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