Post-Secondary School Students

Crime Prevention Tips for Post-Secondary Students

The Peterborough Police Service would like to remind post-secondary students to have a safe and fun year, and keep on track with your studies but don’t invite us to your party!

House Parties

There are some common issues and complaints that the Peterborough Police Service tends to receive around schools and areas where many students live.

  • Noise violations: City of Peterborough Noise By-Law 90-273 is a 24 hour noise by-law within the City limits. The first offence is a $125.00 fine and any other subsequent offences with a Court Date to answer to the charge.
  • Alcohol in public: Other than in a licensed area, alcohol is not permitted in public places including sidewalks, streets, and parks under Section 31(2) LLA – $125.00 fine.
  • Mischief & Theft: Under the Criminal Code of Canada, you can be charged with mischief for various disruptions. “Minor” things like taking the neighbours lawn ornament or stealing a street sign, can lead to a charge of theft.

A lot of students will be leaving home for the first time and experimenting with their new found freedom. Keep in mind that, “common sense” is the best key to your personal safety.

If you’re going out:

  • Never prop an exterior security door.
  • Lock your doors and windows prior to going out for the night.
  • Stay close to your friends, keep an eye on each other, and each others’ drink and plan a safe ride home in advance.
  • Agree in advance that no one leaves alone, or in an intoxicated state without a member of the group accompanying them.
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended at the table or bar while you are dancing, talking with friends, or in the bathroom, etc.
  • Only drink from unopened bottles or cans, or drinks that you’ve seen poured.
  • Avoid “group” drinks. Punch bowls or containers that are “passed around” are the easiest to dose.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoiding isolated or poorly lit areas.
  • Avoid making you a target for robbery by displaying valuable possessions such as cell phones, iPods, headphones etc.
  • Take a picture or write down serial numbers for valuables such as Laptops, IPods, And Cell phone etc. Store pics in a safe place (not on your phone).

Trust your instincts; if you don’t feel safe, tell someone and find a safe way home

If you think you may have been drugged:

The key is to get to a safe place. Tell someone what you think has happened to you, and tell them that you need their help or medical attention. If you or your friends notice any of these symptoms, tell someone and get help immediately:

  • If you notice something is wrong with your drink – there seems to be some powder on the glass or it has a funny taste, throw it away immediately.
  • If you suddenly feel really tired or really drunk and you don’t know why because you haven’t had that much to drink, you may be feeling the effects of a drug.
  • If you wake up, and you cannot remember the events of the night before, or if you feel that someone has sexually assaulted you but cannot remember the details, it may be because you were drugged. Seek help immediately and get medical attention.
  • Don’t change or shower, just go to the Emergency Room. At the hospital, explain what you believe happened to you so they can check for the drugs in your system.
  • You can call the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre Crisis Line for information and support at 705-741-0260 or toll free at 1-866-298-7778. Check out their website

“Don’t be that Guy”
‘Don’t be that Guy’ is an initiative aimed at educating men about getting consent before having sex and understanding that intoxication might render a person unable to give consent. It encourages young men to think about commonly acceptable beliefs that not being able to say no, or saying no while intoxicated, is permission or yes.

JusBecausePoster_2 (1)

The Peterborough Community Police Service partners with Peterborough Regional Health Centre and the Kawartha Sexual Assault Center in the “Don’t Be That Guy Campaign”. The campaign focuses on sexual assault prevention towards young men aged 18-24 years by displaying posters in local bars, Trent University and Fleming College. The images are intentionally graphic to emphasize the bottom line, which is that sex without consent is sexual assault and being drunk is no excuse for committing a crime.

Sex without consent = Sexual Assault

What is Consent?
When it comes to consent, the law is very clear that:

1. You can only consent for yourself.
2. You actually have to be able to give consent. That means you have to be awake, conscious, and sober enough to make a clear decision.
3. People in positions of trust, power or authority can’t abuse their position to get sexual activity.
4. If you imply “no” through your words or behaviours that’s just as good as saying “NO”.
5. You have the right to change your mind and stop anytime for any reason during sexual activity.

As for the age of consent, here’s a quick run down:

1. Under 12: are unable to consent under any circumstance.
2. Ages 12-16: some flexibility for “close in age” and peers.
3. 16 is the official age of consent.
4. Young people under 18 years old are protected from exploitation.

Consent is a clear and simple concept, and the idea that people misunderstand consent is a myth. So why does sexual violence happen? People don’t take consent seriously. Think about terms like “tease” or “playing hard-to-get” or “not being a good salesman”. Phrases like this reflect that our society often treats consent as a joke, and that “no” just means “try harder.”

But consent isn’t a game, and it isn’t funny. Ignoring someone saying or implying “no” is an act of violence. Disregarding consent is about taking advantage or gaining power over another person. It’s about hurting another person. It’s about controlling another person.
When consent is ignored, it’s sexual assault.

Online Interactions
Think before you pose or post

  • Never send a file or photo over the Internet that you wouldn’t want printed in a newspaper or shown to your family or coworkers. Once sent, it is irretrievable and even if deleted, it can circulate for many years through saved files, screenshots or downloads.
  • Check what privacy settings you have on your online profiles and limit personal information you make available to other users. Facebook and other similar sites have instructions on how to check your privacy settings.
  • Do not post or tell anyone online your date of birth, address, phone number or any other personal information.
  • Are your photos geo-coded? Do you want them to be? Be aware of what information you are sending when you post a photo.
  • Sometimes people aren’t who they say they are online. It is easy to create fake profiles or pretend to someone else or a different age or gender, online.
  • If you’re meeting someone that you’ve only ever talked to online, make sure you meet them during daylight hours, in a well-lit, public place, like a coffee shop or mall and make sure that someone you trust knows when/where you’ll be.

For more information contact the Peterborough Police Service at 705-876-1122.