Riverview police notices make residents targets, some say

Police say it is trying to protect residents, but some say a new approach is making things easier for crooks.

Call it proactive law enforcement. An attempt to prevent crime by pointing out to potential victims with a notice the ways in which you may be enticing criminal activity.  

The idea is to hope the police get to you before the criminal does.

"I'm not surprised they are doing this," said Jim Wilson, Riverview resident. "They have come by before and told me my garage door was open. It was half closed and they said I forgot to close my door.

"I said I will close it when the repair man comes."

Here's how the new campaign is designed to work.

Police on patrol in Riverview are equipped with bright green and yellow notices. They are called crime prevention notices which work as a warning.

Basically they state saying that the police noticed something valuable left unsecured, and if they can see it - so too can a crook.

The notice reads in part, "While on patrol I noticed a condition that by it's sheer existence might prove to be a threat to your property."  

On the back is a checklist to let you know what category you fit into and a request to help keep the neighborhood safe.  

Items listed include:

Doors left open or unlocked

Windows open or unlocked

Garage door open

Fence or gate open

A vehicle unlocked

Valuables inside your vehicle unsecured.

The warning notices can be left on your house door or on your car to be found by the owner. The hope is that residents  won't make the same mistake again. 

But the flip side, some argue, is that the neon colored pamphlets could actually attract the criminals on its own. 

They could act as a brightly colored beacon highlighting easy targets for thieves. 

"I don't know if it's a great idea," said one resident.

"I guess," said Riverview resident Karen Zmich. "I never really thought about it that much, and we have never had a problem."

"This would not be an invitation for a thief, Wilson said. "This would be a detriment if anything."

Wilson argues if criminals know police are patrol and watching the area, they'll find another less guarded target.

"That's up to our residents," said one woman. "We need to keep our doors locked, and that is something we should do anyway," 

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