Personal safety on tap at Monterey

Ongoing Grandparent scam among topics on the table Jan. 20

Const. Rick Anthony will lead a personal safety session at Montery Rec Centre Wednesday

Oak Bay Police offer a gentle reminder that prevention is key to personal safety with a presentation from liaison officer Const. Rick Anthony.

“We all too often tend to forget that personal safety is an issue,” Anthony said. “A lot of people let common sense fade. We get this comfortable complacency about where we live and what we do. Oak Bay is not in a bubble.”

He’ll point out the things people can do while at home, out walking and in the car during a session at Monterey Recreation Centre on Wednesday.

“You can never have too much information,” Anthony said. “It’s always good to refresh yourself, even if you think you know it all.”

Some topics and reminders will seem common sense, but at times that fades. “People tend to forget ‘lock your doors,’” he said. That also goes for car doors, house doors and even windows.

“You need to take a few actions. It’s about home security, simple things to do around the house. You have to take the effort to do the basics,” Anthony said. “I touch a little bit on locks and smoke alarms.”

He’ll review all the small safety measures, such as staying in lit areas when out at night.

“Don’t make yourself a target. If you feel unsafe, go with a friend or in a group,” he said.

He’ll also refresh attendees on the ever-popular fraud, the Grandparent scam.

“We still get that one,” Anthony said.

With this scam, a fraudster calls a grandparent claiming to be one of their grandchildren. The caller says they’re in some kind of trouble and need money immediately, specifically asking  the “grandparent” to not tell other relatives due to embarrassment and fear. (Find more information online at Canada’s Anti-Fraud Centre at antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca).

World experience and age are not good indicators of vulnerability, he said. Fraud can happen to anyone.

“I think of my grandparents – who would be in their 100s if they were alive now – how many things they saw in their lives,” Anthony said. “Despite being through two world wars and living all over the world, (my grandmother) had a tendency to be trusting. Yet to the day she died she was sharp as a pin.”

Part of attacking things like fraud and other personal safety issues comes down to getting to know “your people” – neighbours and what their routines are, who belongs in the home and what help might they need.

Learn how to increase your personal safety and security at home and out in public during the session with the Oak Bay police officer on Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. in the Cedar Room at 1440 Monterey Ave. cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com