Crime Prevention Blog

New Technology To Identify Your Personal Property

Trace Pen


The Trace Identified Pen is an anti-theft device helping residents to mark their property so that in the event of theft, they could have their property returned to them. Endorsed by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the Trace Identified pens use a new technology called micro-etching, that can be used by property owners. This invisible adhesive inside the pen is filled with thousands of tiny pieces of metal, each bearing a single serial number that is registered to that pen. Each pen can mark up to 50 pieces of property.

After purchase, the serial numbers of the pens are registered with the company in a database that police have access to. Whenever suspected stolen property is recovered, police can use special equipment to identify if the property was tagged and if so, what the pen’s serial number was. This can be then traced back to the owner. Several businesses in the area, who frequently deal with the sale and purchase of used goods, are now in support of the program and have been provided with signage and detection equipment to assist them in providing a valuable service and peace of mind to their customers. The public, pawn shops and second hand stores can all be active participants in theft prevention, theft detection and theft conviction using Trace.

The package also includes warning stickers to use as a visible deterrent to would-be thieves.

The pen packages are available for purchase online or at Home Hardware stores in the London area. Order online at and SAVE $10 using the promo code OACP.

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Moving Into a Neighbourhood Watch Community

About 6 months ago, my family and I were considering buying our first home. Being new to London, we weren’t sure what to expect. What we did know was our priority was to find a safe, nurturing community for our children to grow up in. We worked with our realtor and did a lot of searching online before finding the best location for us. Once the deal was finalized, we started the process of moving in.

Our first week in the new house was hectic, organizing furniture, cleaning, and learning about the area. One day while I was outside with the kids, one of our neighbours approached me with a big smile. He introduced himself and told me that he was the Area Coordinator for our Neighbourhood Watch community. I had heard of Neighbourhood Watch before, but didn’t know much about the program. He explained that he could be our point of contact in the event we notice anything suspicious in the area, if we’ll be going away for any extended time, or if we had any general questions about community events or goings on. He brought over a map of the neighbourhood and showed me all the houses that were part of our watch area. It was great to have that feeling of a tight-knit community, where safety and involvement are a priority. Our Area Coordinator then invited us to a little neighbourhood get together to meet some of the neighbours. What a warm welcome!

On a sunny Saturday in September, we wrangled up the kids in the wagon, and headed over to a crescent on our block. There were about 25 people, games and activities for the kids, and a pot luck table with lots of goodies. We spent time meeting each other, talking about what we do for work, where we came from, and how we came to live in this neighbourhood. We met people from as far away as Australia, and others who were born and raised in London. We met a photographer, a make-up artist, an accountant, a dietitian, and a stay at home mom. We learned about the school in the area, and about some great child care options just up the street. We even learned about a little ice cream shop that we didn’t know existed, but has now turned into one of our favourite after-dinner treat adventures. We sang songs, ate good food, and enjoyed the company of those that live so close to us. There were so many different people, but one thing that was the same for all of us was our smiles and genuine joy of being part of an inclusive community.

I provided our Area Coordinator with my e-mail address, and he sends me updates on any activities in the neighbourhood. This can include break and enters, car thefts, arrests made in the area, vandalism, or other criminal activity. He also e-mails me if there are any community activities that we can be part of, like our annual neighbourhood movie night. What a great feeling to be able to walk down my street, recognize faces, and say hello to new friends. It’s nice to know that your neighbours are looking out for you and your property, and that you have people close by you can trust. Being part of a Neighbourhood Watch community has made my new house feel like a home for me and my family.

Crime Prevention Blog Social Media


Here at Neighbourhood Watch London, we’ve created a new hashtag to use on Twitter called #EyesOpenLDN. This hashtag is meant to be used as a reminder to be on the lookout for any suspicious activities, people that need assistance, and safety concerns in the community.

With winter arriving in full swing, it’s important for every member of a Neighbourhood Watch community to be diligent in observing their surroundings. During the holidays, and shortly after, an increased number of people are away on vacation or visiting families, leaving homes empty and more susceptible to be targeted for criminal activity. Here are a few tips we recommend in the event someone is leaving their home for an extended period:

  • Arrange a neighbour or family member to stop by the home to check the mailbox, collect newspapers, and pick up any packages.
  • Ask a neighbour to shovel the driveway or walkway. This makes it safer for people like mail carriers to make deliveries, but also helps the home look lived in.
  • Use motion activated lights in the driveway or near any entrances.
  • Provide a spare key and list of contact numbers to a trusted person in the event of an emergency.
  • Do something out of the ordinary when you lock your door before you leave, so it’s memorable and you’ll have peace of mind when you think back to remember if you in fact locked it.
  • Tell neighbours if when you’re leaving, so they can keep their eyes open for unusual activity around your property.

By talking to your neighbours, you get an understanding of what normal traffic in your area looks like, and the familiar faces of those that live around you. This creates tighter-knit communities, and a feeling of belonging and safety. If you see something that looks suspicious in your area, there are ways to report it. You can call the non-emergency London Police line at 519-661-5670, or create a report online at In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Neighbourhood Watch London invites everyone to join the conversation on twitter, and tell us how they keep their #EyesOpenLDN. We’d love to hear stories about how keeping your eyes open has made your community a safer, more inclusive place for you and your neighbours. Use the hashtag #EyesOpenLDN and tag @NWatchLondon to share stories, tips, and ideas.

Crime Prevention Blog

Welcoming New Londoners

Ask any immigrant what they felt like when moving to Canada and most likely they will say it was excitement and anticipation combined with fear and uncertainty. When everything around you is new and unfamiliar, including the language and the culture, it

Crime Prevention Blog

Reporting a Crime

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The Top 4 Reasons Why Reporting a Crime is So Important

Have you ever witnessed a crime? Had your car broken into? A window busted? A garden gnome stolen off your front lawn? You may wonder if it’s even worth your time reporting such crimes. In fact, many crimes just like this go completely unreported. But, why? Well, there are many myths that lead people to believe reporting certain crimes just isn’t worth their time. In this blog we’ll debunk those myths and help you understand why it is so important to report crime in your neighbourhood.

Here are the top 4 myths about reporting crimes and why you should ABSOLUTELY report them:

  1. “If there isn’t a suspect, and the police aren’t attending why waste my time?” Your time is valuable and we respect your concerns, but you are completely wrong. By reporting the crime, we capture valuable crime information that would otherwise be lost and the criminals are banking on your apathy. When you complete an on-line report, or telephone report, the information is collected and a report is captured, like all other reported crimes in our database. Our Crime Analysts (smart computer members) review the data every day and look for patterns that are actionable. With a team approach, and yes, you are on the squad, we then allocate the appropriate resources such as: plain clothes officers, K-9, uniform personnel, Auxiliary, CORE unit members, mobile cameras and a host of other really cool things that make CSI look fake…We also upload all our collected data onto our crime map which is a tool that is available for you as a citizen to view. Just go to our London Police Service website at and click on the services icon, you will be the “big brain” at the next neighborhood gathering espousing local crime stats that will make your partner blush with pride.
  1. “The police will give my personal information to the insurance company and my rates will go up!” Who started this rumor is probably a really nice person…but the truth is: if you are involved in a Motor Vehicle Collision, yes, your insurance company can make a request for relevant data and they may also make an application for information if a claim has been made by you to your insurance company in relation to items stolen or damaged. Otherwise, the London Police Service does not provide your relevant information to insurance companies as previously suggested.
  1. Interesting factoid, a north end parking location had an unreported 27 car break-ins in one year. Not a single one was reported to police during the related year, and as a result, the resources that could have been activated were utilized in other areas. The reality about opportunistic crime is criminals know that if they are having success in an area, they will continue to commit their crime(s) until they are stopped by citizens who report the crimes and the responding police who investigate the incidents.
  1. “It happened months ago, no sense in reporting now…” Sorry Eeyore, but with the optimism of Piglet, you ABSOLUTELY can make a report at a later date. Ideally, it is best to make a report as soon as possible, but sometimes victims require more time or didn’t realize they were victimized until weeks or even months later. Please include any/all serial numbers of your items that have a serialized portion and we recommend you maintain imagery of all your valuables, just please keep them in a safe location.


Thanks to everyone for taking the 72 seconds it took to read this article. We can all make a difference with a little bit of effort! Thank you to our friends in Neighborhood Watch for allowing us to share our thoughts on why we ask Londoners to report any crimes they may have suffered or witnessed.


By: John McDonald, London Police Service, Crime Prevention Officer