Safety Tips

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are safe communities to live in.  Violent crime is not common and not very likely to occur to a resident or a student.  However, thefts, pick-pocketing, and small crimes do happen, as in most cities in the world.

DO NOT BRING VALUABLES TO SCHOOL!  You should carry only as much cash in your wallet or purse that you will need for that day and you should think twice about taking portable music players to school at all.

DO NOT CALL ATTENTION TO VALUABLES:  Playing the newest ring toe on your cell phone, sharing music with friends on your iPod, or talking about how much you paid for your new basketball shoes can all bring unwanted attention from others who overhear.

NEVER LEAVE VALUABLES UNATTENDED:  Most items are stolen when they are left sitting around; backpacks left alone in the cafeteria while a student is in the lunch line, and shoes left on a bench next to a gym locker are common examples.  Items often disappear in these situations.  If you must leave your belongings for a few minutes, you should either lock them up or ask a frend or adult to watch them until you return. 

KEEP YOUR LOCKER LOCKED AT ALL TIMES:  Trying to save time by leaving locks unlocked or pre-set to open on the last number can backfire!  Avoid sharing the combination with anyone.

PROTECT VALUABLES THAT ARE LEFT IN VEHICLES:  Students should never leave valuables in plain sight, even if the vehicle is locked.  Detachable faceplates, CD collections, and other items should be stored in the trunk.  Bicycles should be locked as well.

NEVER CARRY LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH:  If you must, carry the cash in two separate locations.

IMMEDIATELY REPORT A THEFT:  Even if you leave valuables unattended, nobody has the right to take your things.  By reporting the theft promptly, school officials and police will be more likely to identify the thief and recover the stolen items.  Holding the thief accountable is important.  Serious consequences for stealing can help change their behaviour before it becomes a life-long habit.

Other preventative measures include marking or engraving the property with personal identifying information.  Making a list of valuables including colour, make, model, serial numbers, and any other identifying features can help police in recovering stolen property and returning it to the rightful owner.

IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION:  You can reach the fire department, the police, or an ambulance by calling 9-1-1 on your phone.  When you call 911, an emergency operator – called a dispatcher – immediately connects you to the person you need.  If you are not confident with your ability to communicate in English, ask for your first language, for example “Mandarin Chinese” and they will connect you to a translator on a conference call to communicate with the emergency dispatcher.

PERSONAL SAFETY ON THE STREET

Walking

Be alert.  Try not to be distracted.  Walk with confidence and your head up.

Plan your route.  Know how you are going and how to get there.  Ask advice for the best routes to events, restaurants, or shopping.

Be aware of who is and what is around you.  Trust your instincts.  If something doesn’t feel right or you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you are probably right.  Avoid the situation.  Do not try to override your fear with common sense.  It is better to feel foolish and be sage than to be vulnerable.

Change direction if you feel you are being followed.  Go to the nearest store or restaurant.

At night, walk on well-lit, busy streets.  Walk with at least one other person.  Avoid isolated areas such as parks, vacant lots, or poorly lit areas where there are no other people around.  Carry a whistle or other personal safety device.  Scream or yell loudly if attacked.

Relationships

If you want to stop a friendship, be very clear that you don’t want to see the person anymore.  If they continue to bother you, tell a teacher or friend about the situation.

If someone is bothering you, tell him or her to stop.  For example, “GO AWAY” or “STOP BOTHERING ME!”  Do not worry about hurting their feelings or being nice.  If you are not clear, they might not stop.  If they continue to bother you then tell somebody nearby.

Alcohol & Drugs

The legal drinking age in BC is 19 years old.

Never get into a car if the driver has been drinking.

Drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy, ketamine, and GHB are illegal.  Do not use or possess drugs at any time.  Young people die all the time from using the drugs common to rave parties.  Foreign students caught possessing any kind of drug may be deported back to their home country.

Read the safety tips in your language:

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