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The Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) kicked off their Home Smart Initiative today, to help residents keep their homes safe.

Police say they have seen a rise in break-and-enters as the weather gets warmer in the city and officers and cadets will be going door-to-door in areas with high property-crime rates to conduct home safety audits and provide people with tips to deter thieves.

Patrol Sergeant Phil Penner says break-ins are a crime of opportunity and it’s important for people to take that opportunity away.

“What we’d like to see at the end of it is people doing assessments of their own homes so they can decrease the likelihood they become a victim of crime,” said Penner.

In a release, the WPS says residential break-and-enters mostly take place between the hours 9 am and 6 pm, when people are at work or away from their home. Garage break-ins take place mostly overnight.

The WPS also says most criminal’s break-in through the window or door and in nearly half of them the front door was unlocked or open.   

“Just a couple weeks ago we released our crime prevention video and it’s depicting a homeowner in their back yard doing some yard work and the front door is open,” said Penner. “Someone can go in and out in 30 seconds and take your property.”

“Just because you are home, that doesn’t mean your property is secure.”

For more information on how to prevent break-ins, visit the Winnipeg Police Service Website.