A program aimed at helping Dauphin residents get in the habit of securing their properties was a great success according to organizer Lisa Gaudet.
The 9 PM Routine - a municipally-led campaign featuring nightly email reminders to secure property by removing valuables from vehicles, locking vehicle doors, locking all exterior doors and turning on an outside light - wrapped up Nov. 6, the deputy city manager said.
“Our social media analytics show that we reached more than 23,000 people, so that is well above and beyond the majority of any other post we have republished on our social media,” Gaudet said. “There was really lively engagement. We had lots of people sharing, liking, commenting. It really helped us to spread the message.”
Gaudet added other municipalities have reached out to her hoping to duplicate the campaign.
On top of the nightly email messages, the campaign involved the local RCMP detachment with officers scouring neighbourhoods and leaving calling cards when they found unsecured property.
“I’m supposed to be having a meeting with (RCMP) next week, just to review from their perspective what the impact was of the campaign. But by all accounts, they felt that occurrences were reduced,” Gaudet said. “So it was very successful. I think we really needed positive messaging. It was the kind of messaging that brings us all together and lets people know that the city is listening. And it was kind of a fun catchy campaign just to connect the community and to connect the city and the RCMP with our residents.”
Given the importance of being aware of crimes of opportunity, Gaudet said the information used in the campaign will be placed on the city’s website in the coming weeks as part of a community safety. It is also quite likely that in the future the campaign will be resurrected, Gaudet added.
“Just as a refresher, possibly in the spring. Because the incidence of mischief, people roaming at night and getting into people’s vehicles and backyards, generally increases in the spring and during the summer,” she said. “So it’s probably a good time to resurrect the campaign at that time. So that’s something we would look at.”