If you see something, say something. Report any theft or suspicious activity and help our community put the brakes on property crime.
Whether you’re a business owner/operator or local resident, use this toolkit as a central resource for community information involving theft prevention. Here, you’ll find details about how to report an incident, and who you should call – whether it’s the RCMP or the City’s Bylaw enforcement team.
Also, you’ll learn some simple tips to make your property less appealing to criminals.
How to Report a Crime or Incident
If your situation is an emergency requiring immediate response, dial 911. If some time has elapsed since the incident, the suspect is no longer at the scene, or the call is to report a nuisance issue, these are considered non-emergencies. Click the first accordion below for a chart of who to contact – and how.
When to Call RCMP
For non-emergency incidents involving a crime, call the RCMP at 250-492-4300 or use their Online Crime Reporting system.
When to Call Bylaw Services
Do you have a noisy neighbour? Is a barking dog keeping you up all night? Would you like to make a complaint about a traffic or snow removal issue? These are all examples of issues that should be reported to the City's Bylaw Services department.
You can contact them by phoning 250-490-2440 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or report the issue online. After Hours: 250-809-4367 (Monday to Friday, 4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.)
Use this helpful chart for some examples of who to call.
Emergencies 911 Non-Emergency Crimes: RCMP 250-492-4300 Bylaw Services
Daytime: 250-490-2440Evening: 250-809-4367
Is it an emergency or a crime that requires immediate dispatch? Call 911.
If time has elapsed since the incident or the suspect is no longer at the scene, phone the Penticton RCMP's non-emergency number at 250-492-4300.
You can also use the Penticton RCMP’s Online Crime Reporting system.
You can use Online Crime Reporting if:
- You have lost something that costs less than $5,000.
- Someone has stolen something from you that costs less than $5,000.
- Someone has vandalized your property or vehicle and it will cost less than $5,000 to repair it.
- The crime happened within the jurisdiction of the Penticton RCMP.
- You want to report a Driving Complaint that is not in progress (e.g. speeding, distracted driving or failing to follow road signs or signals).
You cannot use Online Crime Reporting if:
- There is a witness or suspect (this restriction does not apply to Driving Complaints).
- There are lost or stolen items involving personal identity, firearms, licence plates or decals.
The RCMP will need your:
- Phone number
A typical report will take 15 minutes to complete.
If you have information about a crime or suspicious person or activity and you would prefer to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, send a text message to 274637 with the message SOSTIPS, or visit Crime Stoppers.
For issues involving the following, please contact the City of Penticton’s Bylaw Services team.
- Noise (including construction and animal)
- Unsightly property
- Snow & ice removal
- Nuisance properties & “grow-ops”
- Pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers
If you have a concern involving any of the above issues, Penticton’s Bylaw Services can be contacted at 250-490-2440, or Dog Control at 250-492-3801.
After hours, call the RCMP non-emergency line at 250-492-4300 for pressing issues. Concerns about graffiti can be reported to Bylaw Services.
Also visit Bylaw Services’ page about how to register a complaint with the City.
Crime Prevention for Businesses
This section of the toolkit offers concrete steps you can take to improve the security of your business. These tips are based on a method called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), which works by removing opportunities for criminals.
You can use this form below to assess the security of your business, or you can contact the Community Policing Office to conduct an on-site assessment. Click through the items below for specific information about each category.
Penticton RCMP’s Commercial Security Self-Assessment Form is available to download.
However, if you have any questions or would like to request an on-site security assessment at your business, contact the Penticton Community Policing Office at 250-492-4300. They often conduct site visits throughout local businesses as well as parkades and strata developments and can advise on any security issues.
Penticton RCMP is committed to ensuring the safety of members of the community and their property. It is intended that use of the recommendations contained within this document may reduce the likelihood of criminal activity in and around your place of business. Use of the recommendations however does not guarantee that all risks have been identified, or that the area evaluated will be free from criminal activity if the recommendations are followed. Use of these recommendations is not intended to replace expert and specialist legal or security advice that may be relevant to your business.
Recommended guidelines include:
- The street/shop number must be prominently displayed at the front of your business.
- The number should be a minimum height of 12 cm and be visible at night.
- The number could also be painted on the street curb outside your business to assist emergency services and visitors to locate your business.
- Street number should be visible from public sidewalk or street.
Add effective signage and/or directional signs outside your business to provide guidance to visitors in reception areas. This can also help by controlling activities and movements throughout the premises.
Also post warning signs around the perimeter of business to warn intruders of what security treatments have been implemented to reduce opportunities for crime. Some examples of signage include:
- Trespassers will be prosecuted.
- This property is under electronic video surveillance.
- No large amounts of cash are kept on these premises.
- Time lock safes are used.
- Robbery Prevention Program in effect.
- All property has been marked for police identification.
Keep your building and area maintained, including the trimming of shrubbery. Not only does this send a message to criminals that you are actively maintaining the area, but it ensures all sight lines are clear around the building.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to reduce concealment opportunities and increase visibility from the public sidewalk and/or street.
- Clear sight lines are required along any pedestrian route to the business.
- Remove obstacles and rubbish from property boundaries, footpaths, driveways, car, parks and buildings to restrict concealment and prevent offenders from scaling your building.
Install quality security fences around the perimeter of your business to clearly define the property boundaries and restrict access. These should preferably be open-style fencing and gates of similar construction to prevent an offender from using the fence for concealment.
- All gates should be kept shut and locked when not in use.
- Consider using High Security rated locks and keys.
- Fences and gate should be maintained to assist with the protection of your property.
- Information regarding types of locks can be obtained by contacting a reputable company or refer to the British Columbia Professional Locksmith Association for contact in your local area.
Make sure the lighting surrounding your building is sufficient, removing any excuse for criminals to loiter.
- Install security lighting in and around your business, particularly over entry/exit points to create an even distribution of light with no glare.
- Leave a limited amount of internal lighting on at night enable patrolling police, security guards or passing people to monitor activities within the business.
Here are some important tips to make sure all sight lines are clear within and around your building.
- Inside the building, ensure you have visible sight lights to your point of sale counter. This may involve positioning shelves.
- Maintain clear sight lines between the street, neighbouring property and buildings.
- Counters should be designed to reduce the opportunity for assault of staff and unauthorized access.
- Shelving within the business should be limited in height, or transparent, to increase natural visibility of the premises.
- Consideration should be given to width, height and location of the counter.
- Bollards or barriers can be installed to reduce unauthorized access where appropriate.
- The floors, walls and ceilings should be solid construction.
- The roof should be reinforced with mesh below the roofing to restrict property and the buildings.
- Avoid street trees at your business entrance points, which may block visibility.
- Remove marketing posters from ground-floor windows to ensure clear sight lines.
- The mailbox should be secured be of solid construction and comply with the Building codes of Canada. (Fire regulations)
- The doors should be fitted with single cylinder lock sets which comply with the Building Code of Canada. (Fire Regulation)
Ensure the following:
- A single cylinder lock set is key operated on the external side with either a turn handle on the inside to enable occupants to escape in an emergency, such as fire or other lifethreatening situation.
- External doors and frames should be solid construction and comply with the Building Code of Canada. (Fire Regulations)
- The doors should be fitted with single cylinder lock sets which comply with the Building Code of Canada. (Fire Regulations)
- No more than 15% of display windows should be covered with promotional material to increase surveillance opportunities to and from the business.
- Main entrance door should be free of marketing posters.
- Windows and frames should be of solid construction.
- Windows should be fitted with key-operated window lock sets to restrict unauthorized access.
- Glass may also be reinforced to restrict unauthorized access with a shatter-resistant film, or replace the existing glass with laminated glass, or have decorative metal grill.
- Record description/model/serial numbers of property for easy identification.
- Back up property lists from computer in case the computer is lost or stolen.
- Engrave or etch your property with a traceable number, e.g. BRN (Business Registration Number) for identification. (Engravers are available for loan at the Mission Community Policing Office).
- When you sell your property, place a neat line through your engraving to show that it is no longer valid.
- It is also a good idea to give the person a receipt to prove the sale of the item.
- Photograph and record the details of unique items to aid in their recovery if stolen.
- Ensure that you have adequate insurance for the replacement or property.
- Your property list, photographs and other documentation should be adequately secured, (e.g. safe, safety deposit box).
- For items that cannot be engraved, it is suggested that you mark them with an ultraviolet pen. This marking is only visible under and ultraviolet (black) light.
- Telephones should be pre-programmed with the emergency number 911 and your local police detachment number (250-492-4300) for quick reference.
- Telephone lines or boxes should be secured to avoid unlawful tampering.
- A safe designed and installed to the Canadian Standards Association should be utilized to provide additional security to money and other valuable.
- The safe should be anchored to the floor to prevent easy removal.
- The safe should have a drop-chute facility installed within the safe to enable staff to deposit money without having to open it.
- The safe should be locked at all times when not in use to restrict access.
- Retail safes at the Point of Sale should be Time Locked. A time delay safe prevents easy access and this helps to act as a deterrent to robbery.
- The safe should be installed in an area away from public view where access is limited.
The control of keys and valuables is very important and should be closely monitored by management.
- A key register should be used to list which staff members have been issued with keys, the type of keys issued and what areas they have access to.
- The control of valuables is just as important and a register should be used to record which staff members have been issued with valuable items such as a laptop computer, mobile etc. These registers should be detailed and regularly maintained and audited.
- In addition, all valuables should be clearly marked with business details where possible and serial numbers and other details should be recorded and stored in a safe place.
- To reduce the likelihood of theft and or damage, try to limit the number of keys and valuables left unsecured and in plain sight of potential intruders.
Establish clear and proper cash handling procedures within your business to reduce the opportunities for crime.
- Try to reduce the amount of cash your business deals with.
- Limit the amount of money carried in the cash drawer ($100-200 during the day, $50 at night)
- Lock cash drawers when not in use, and clear money from the cash drawer on a regular basis, e.g. to a safe.
- Make frequent cash drops into Time Delayed Locked Safe.
- Avoid counting cash in view of the public.
- Use a minimum of two staff, or security, when transferring money to financial institutions, or consider using a reputable security company especially when transferring large amounts of money
- Where possible, limit cash amounts by installing electronic payments such as EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer Point of Sale)
- Don’t use conspicuous bank bags when transferring money as this can be a clear indication to the thief.
- Avoid wearing your uniform or identification when transferring money.
- Establish a robbery prevention program.
- Install a monitored intruder alarm system which has been designed and installed to the security standards of Canada-Domestic and Commercial Alarm Systems to enhance the physical security of your business.
- As a number of premises have had telephone lines cut to prevent alarms being reported to the security monitoring company, a supplementary system such as Global Satellite Mobile (GSM) or Radio Frequency (RF) systems should be used to transmit alarm signal by either mobile telephone or radio frequency.
- Consideration should also be given to incorporating duress facility into the system to enable staff to activate the system manually in the event of an emergency, such as a robbery.
- Duress devices should only be used when it is safe to do so.
- LEDs (red lights) within the detectors should be deactivated, to avoid offenders being able to test the range of the system.
- The system should be tested on a regular basis to ensure that it is operating effectively.
- If you have a system installed within in your business, use it.
- Staff should be trained in the correct use of the system.
- Any alarm system should be manufactured and installed by a qualified and reputable company and regularly function tested.
Surveillance equipment can enhance the physical of your business and assist in the identification of people involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour.
- The proper cameras and lens should be installed in and around the business to maximize surveillance opportunities.
- Digital or video technology should be used to record images from the cameras.
- Recording equipment should be installed away from the counter area to avoid tampering.
- Video (VHS) tapes need to be replaced quarterly to maintain quality images.
- A Digital Video Recorder (DVR) should hold a minimum of 30 days of images or other stored timeline according to insurance requirements.
- Cameras should effectively monitor the store entrance door, retail floor space and point of sale (as a minimum). Outdoor yards and valuables and company vehicle parks should also be monitored.
- Installed surveillance equipment should be maintained in working order and regularly tested.
- If the surveillance system is installed, use it.
- Staff should be trained in the correct use of the system.
- Any surveillance system should be manufactured and installed by a qualified and reputable company and regularly function tested.
- Some businesses or locations may require on-site security to enhance physical security.
- Security services may be used to randomly patrol your business, particularly in an isolated location.
- Sensitive materials, including confidential records, should be appropriately destroyed or secured, e.g. confidential records should be shredded or disposed of through security destruction services.
- Computer passwords should be changed regularly to restrict access and avoid misuse by past and present staff.
- Emergency evacuation plans should be implemented and maintained by your business to assist staff and emergency services in the event of an emergency. This plan should be prominently displayed.
- Staff should be suitably trained in evacuation procedures.
Crime Prevention for Residents
There are steps you can take to make sure your home isn’t a target for criminals. Penticton RCMP offers a Residential Security Self-Assessment Form, which you can download and use to assess your property. Also read through the tips below for specific information about how you can improve the security of your home.
If you would like to request an on-site security assessment of your property, strata property, neighbourhood or underground parking, contact the Penticton Community Policing Office at 250-492-4300.
By taking some simple steps around your home, you can help keep your home secure. This includes:
- Lock your doors and windows when you leave your home.
- Do not keep ladders or tools on the outside of your home. They can be used to gain entry.
- Always keep your vehicle locked, even if it’s parked in your driveway.
- Keep your vacation plans off social networks like Facebook.
- Get to know your neighbours.
- Join or start a Block Watch group.
- Record serial numbers, keep a log and take pictures of your valuables.
- Avoid leaving anything of value in parked vehicles.
Read more RCMP security tips.
Register your bicycle for free with Project 529, the bike registration program, operated in partnership with Penticton RCMP.
You can register your bike for free in less than five minutes at project529.com or download the 529 Garage smartphone app. Pick up your decals at the Penticton RCMP detachment, available for a nominal fee.
For crime-related questions or to book a security assessment, contact the RCMP’s Community Policing Unit. To report a non-emergency incident involving a crime, call the RCMP at 250-492-4300 or use their Online Crime Reporting system.
Community Policing Unit
185 Lakeshore Drive, Penticton
For issues involving City property, parking or nuisances, contact the City’s Bylaw Services team. To report a non-emergency bylaw issue, please fill out our online form. All requests will be forwarded to the appropriate contact for consideration.
Phone: 250-490-2440 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or report the issue online.
After Hours: 250-809-4367 (Monday to Friday, 4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.)
#101 – 284 Main Street
Currently available Monday to Friday 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.