St. Catharines – Niagara Regional Police officers will be walking a different kind of beat next week.

Armed with pamphlets and information aimed at heading off crime before it happens, the officers will patrol a number of Niagara cities and towns as part of an educational campaign.

The effort is part of a broader slate of activities the NRP is planning as part of Crime Prevention Week from Nov. 7-13.

“Were really trying to connect to the public this year face to face on a personal basis,” said Insp. Dave Jastrubecki, who’s co-ordinating the effort for the NRP.

A two-day conference for police services across the province in Niagara Falls Thursday and Friday preceded the initiative, focusing on preventing crimes by young people.

Jastrubecki said the NRP’s public education campaign next week will follow the same theme, as well as targetting thefts from vehicles, protecting against identity theft and home security, among other topics.

The NRP will finish off the slate of activities with a community policing symposium Nov. 13 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at White Oaks Spa and Conference Centre in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Crime Stoppers of Niagara said it’s hoping through the public education campaign to convince people it can serve a dual role.

“Usually, we’re thought of as a tool that’s used to help solve crime, but that guarantee of anonymity can work very well in the crime prevention side, too,” Crime Stoppers executive director Stu Black said.

He pointed to a recent case in Tampa, Fla., where police credited a Crime Stoppers tip with helping them nab a suspect who threatened a mass shooting at a high school.

“That’s a real good example of using Crime Stoppers in a preventative way. We’re a vehicle where people can provide the information,” Black said.

Source: St. Catharines Standard