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A summer with no regrets

A summer with no regrets


Constable Ken Steeves from the London Police Services reveals ways for students to stay safe over the summer.

Ally Jol | Interrobang | News | May 26th, 2014

As Canadians, we are used to hibernating within our home and dreading going outside for most of the year. So when summer arrives and students are released from school for the holidays, no duh we want to celebrate as much as possible.

But getting caught up in all of this, we become more oblivious to the things that can happen when simply trying to have some fun and let loose.

Constable Ken Steeves has 11 years of experience with the London Police Service, so it was no surprise that he had a lot to say on the issue of keeping safe.

He found that many people have the mentality that “it's not going to happen to me” whether it's about collisions, theft, being charged, being attacked or other bad situations.

“Rather than thinking it can't, think it's possible,” he said. “Just don't find out the hard way and make good choices. You know when the day is over, wake up the next morning with no regrets.”

The first thing he discussed were the issues that arrive with consumption of alcohol. “Students are great,” said Steeves. “The problems usually occur with the consumption of alcohol.”

This being said, if you are someone who has been known to get belligerently drunk, then it would be in your best interest to know your limit and drink a less.

“We've had an incident where there were these two guys laughing at this one girl in a bar,” Steeves remembered.

“Some guy came up, punched the guy right in the face and knocked him out ... it was totally unpredictable. They didn't know this guy; they didn't have any interactions with this female or the guy. He just came up and because they were laughing at her he just punched him right in the face, knocked him out.”

People can be totally unpredictable. The situation that Steeves recounted was unpredictable in the way that they weren't causing an issue with this guy and things escalated quickly. So just because you may not be doing anything wrong doesn't mean nothing is going to happen to you.

“It's not to cause fear but just to let you know that things like that do occur,” Steeves said.

Drinking and driving
“It's not going to happen to me” comes into play again with drinking and driving.

“It's known as one of the big fours in Ontario,” said Steeves. Distracted driving, speeding and no seat belts are the other three offences that are classified under this title.

“Upon conviction, generally speaking with your first conviction, a minimum of $1,000 fine, lose your license for 90 days right away even without being convicted. Upon conviction you lose your license for 1 year,” explained Steeves. “You'll have a letter ‘I' on your license, which stands for ignition interlock system and if you want to drive within the next year you have to have this device installed in your vehicle, again, at your cost and then every two months you need to go for a diagnostics test at your cost... and everything really adds up.”

Just one criminal offence on your record can put so many limitations on you for the rest of your life. “We as human beings believe that because it's never happened to me it's not going to. I use the example of collisions all the time,” said Steeves. “Almost every time, every collision I've investigated, they all say, ‘it happened so fast.'”

Theft from motor vehicles
Something that Constable Steeves says that the London Police notice is trending is thefts from motor vehicles.

“[In 2013] we had almost 2,800 thefts from motor vehicles reported to us. This year to date — we've had almost half — a little more than 1,100 thefts from motor vehicles reported incidents,” he said.

He suggests putting away anything of potential value that may be in your car. It may not be worth much to you, but if they can grab it they'll be quite happy selling it for $10 to $20.

“They don't care that it's going to cost the owner $300 to $500 to replace the window,” Steeves added.

Theft from student residences
London police have also noticed that student houses are targeted for break and enters because thieves can count on students owning laptops and other expensive electronic devices needed for school.

“Some student residences are occupied by several students and they leave their door unlocked because they want to make sure that their roommate is able to come in,” Steeves said. “So we suggest making a key for each person and keeping your door locked all the time.”

Intruders can walk into your house at any given time if doors are unlocked. You may not even notice and just think that it's your roommate.

“Regardless of the time of day, lock your door and make sure you have the key. It's pretty basic, but it happens,” said Steeves.

So remember this and don't think that bad things won't happen to you. “[We] encourage everyone to have fun, it's not different than any other time of year.” Steeves said.

Enjoy the summer holidays everyone!
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