Crime Prevention Update
City of Portland, Crime Prevention Coordinator
This article comes to us from Sara Hussein, our Neighborhood Crime Prevention Specialist with Portland Police Bureau.
Crime Prevention during the Holidays
During this time of year, we hear about increases in certain types of crime. Being aware and taking a few extra steps can reduce incidents during this holiday season. With an increase in deliveries during the holiday, consider the following to help prevent package theft:
- Arrange to sign for your deliveries
- Have your package delivered to a place where you will be during the day
- Pick up your package at the delivery company
- Have the delivery sent to a secure locker box
Additionally, car prowls increase during the holidays as individuals store their purchases in their car or trunk. Leaving your car free of valuable items, bags, and anything that might be mistaken as valuable is the best prevention. If you must store items in your car, place them in a trunk and then move your car to another location. If you are going to be out of town during the holidays, be sure to create an appearance of occupancy at your home, especially installing timers on your porch lights and informing trusted neighbors that you will be gone.
Door to Door Solicitations
There has been an uptick in door-to-door solicitors in the past few weeks around the Overlook neighborhood. As we enter the holidays, we can expect to see more door-to-door solicitors in our area. Many residents will also receive visits from representatives of charities. It's not against the law to sell door to door. Sales people are not required by Multnomah County to apply for a permit and they are not required to carry identification. However, there are certain behaviors or signs that cause residents to be concerned:
- Aggressive sales tactics including trying to enter your home
- The solicitor won't leave your premises
- The representative does not have company materials or identification
- An individual looks into home windows or checks the side of the house when no one answers the door. In some cases door handles may be checked.
- Probing questions are asked that make you feel uncomfortable
- When there is suspicious behavior exhibited by a door-to-door solicitor, you can contact the police. However, it's not enough to call just because you see solicitors in your neighborhood. What actions are making you feel uncomfortable? Unless it's an immediate threat to life or property, which warrants a call to 9-1-1, you can contact the non-emergency line to the police at 503-823-3333. You can also contact the Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline to report problems with a company in the Portland area (503) 229-5576.
It is helpful to have a plan for dealing with door-to-door solicitors. Some people may choose not to open the door at all. Others may open the door, but may not buy anything or donate money at that moment; instead they take the information from the solicitor, do their research, and follow up later. If you belong to a Neighborhood Watch, contact your neighbors on your phone tree and let them know to be cautious if you have encountered an aggressive or suspicious solicitor.