As spring melts the snow away and locals turn to their annual chores, the RCMP is offering tips to keep your property safe while performing your spring cleaning.

In light of the season, Mounties are promoting Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), a multi-disciplinary approach to crime prevention that uses urban and architectural design and the management of built and natural environments. 

"While you're outside, it's just one of the great times to take a look around your property and just kind of focus on some of the CPTED tips we put out there," said Jennifer Kee, a civilian member with the RCMP and program manager for the K Division district.  

Kee said trimming trees and shrubs to provide clear lines of sight from inside your home can help open up the area and make it less enticing for criminals. In addition, keeping bushes and shrubs short removes potential hiding places. 

Lighting is also an important factor; ensuring your home is adequately lit at night deters criminals for fear of being seen. Solar-powered lights can light up the most remote places on your property. Also, leaving lights on in the house when away can provide the illusion that someone is home. 

Locking up valuables is another way to prevent property crimes. Kee noted smaller tools, such as rakes, shovels, or other items to maintain your property, can be used as break-in tools or weapons. 

"Always make sure that you put the ladders away. Those are also a great tool for people to gain entry into second-story floors where we don't tend to lock those up as often," she continued. 

Kee encourages people to report any suspicious activity to the police even if it may seem irrelevant. Reports tell police where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future.