Keeping Yourself Safer in Thunder Bay

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Thunder Bay Police unit responds to a call after an assault at 21:45EDT on August 14 2014
Thunder Bay Police unit responds to a call after an assault at 21:45EDT on August 14 2014

Thunder Bay Police unit responds to a call after an assault at 21:45EDT on August 14 2014
Thunder Bay Police unit responds to a call after an assault at 21:45EDT on August 14 2014

THUNDER BAY – LIVING – For many in Thunder Bay, crime is an issue of concern. Keeping you, your family, and your property safe means having a plan and putting that plan into place.

While streets in Thunder Bay are for the most part safe, there are times and places where it is less safe. Late nights in the downtown areas can be unsafe.

The keys to keeping safer start with being aware of your surroundings. Criminals seeking your wallet, smartphone or purse can be almost anywhere.

Superior EMS and Thunder Bay Fire Rescue respond on Brodie Street across from City Hall on August 13 2014 at 17:30EDT
Superior EMS and Thunder Bay Fire Rescue respond on Brodie Street across from City Hall on August 13 2014 at 17:30EDT

If you are out walking some safety ideas include walking on the sidewalk so you are facing the oncoming traffic. That also means that you need to hear and see what is around you. Having headphones blasting your favourite tunes into your ears is going to make it harder to hear what is around you. The same goes for many young people who wear hoodies, and have them up when walking.

They restrict your vision and hearing. They make it easier for for you to be a victim of an attack. If you can’t see them coming, or can’t hear them coming, you are opening yourself to an attack.

An attack isn’t always a ‘mugging’ or direct person to person attack.

Thunder Bay has many instances where things are thrown at people from moving vehicles. By walking facing oncoming traffic, you can see cars headed toward you.

From many reports, the majority of the drive-by-eggings are from behind the victim.

If you are walking along some of the major streets, and you have a smart phone, having it in your hand can help. You can set your phone to camera, and perhaps capture licence plates, and a vehicle description.

Crime Report showing incidents responded to in Thunder Bay South from July 29 to August 5th
Crime Report showing incidents responded to in Thunder Bay South from July 29 to August 5th

What is very critical, and does not happen enough are that victims don’t report the incidents. If the police don’t know, it is impossible for them to do anything about it. One of the keys to a safer Thunder Bay is for citizens to be stepping up and assisting the police by reporting crimes.

It is important to understand that most criminals are seeking easy opportunities. They search for simple opportunities to attack unwary victims.

Often, a common target may be an individual who is plainly from out of town, and might be daunted by urban life.

Beware of where you go, and pay attention to everything and everybody around you. An attacker does not to be seen before committing a crime, so if you stroll intently with your head held high and surveying your surroundings, and walk like you are headed somewhere, you will most likely be a less likely target.

In the downtown areas, often assaults and robberies happen when an intoxicated person is attacked. Three units of the Thunder Bay Police along with one unit from Superior EMS responded to an incident on George Street last night. Witnesses said that the assault happened over the theft of an Ipod.

Walk in the Light

Darker streets, and back lanes can offer the opportunities for an attacker to try to hide and to try to catch you by surprise.

Back in the old days, a man would walk on the outside of the sidewalk, toward the road. That was to protect a woman from splashes of debris. Now that can be a way to also protect a person from a street side egging.

Whenever you can, especially at night, don’t walk alone. If you are alone, and are headed out, ask yourself how important the walk really is? If you are headed to the corner store for a bag of chips or bottle of pop, late at night, is it really worth it?

If you do go out alone at night, for women, a purse or a backpack is also a potential target for an attacker.

If you are alone, keep a decently fast pace, get to where you are going and make your way inside. Have your keys in your hand, standing at your car or doorway, fumbling for your keys takes your attention away from what it should be, getting inside safely.

The majority of the major incidents in Thunder Bay, like most major cities is violence occurring between people who know each other. Domestic violence is a major issue, and for the victim it can be a repeating cycle. The number of women who at first justify the violence is large. “I should have done better — I didn’t do what I was told — It is all my fault”… those are common responses many women will feel after an abusive incident.

Protecting yourself and protecting your children is very important. Getting the help you need is key.

There are lots of resources, and lots of ways that working with the available resources, Thunder Bay can be a safer city.

On August 14 2014 at 9PM there will be a Candlelight Silent Vigil to demonstrate that residents want a safer city.