Kleptophobia (or cleptophobia): an abnormal fear of theft.
My life sure has evolved in terms of feeling secure.
When young, I was afraid my purse would be stolen while I partied at a club. My greatest worry was the loss of expensive makeup.
Today I have less makeup in my knapsack. Instead, I tote around security worries about our car and belongings as well as our personal safety. My husband and I have begun to dig a moat around us.
In the underground parkade, the neighbour’s car next to ours was stolen. Other vehicles have had their pricey catalytic converters cut and carried off. Cameras haven’t helped because every thief wears a hood and a mask.
Paul added an anti-theft system/key fob but that’s not enough to provide deep and peaceful sleeps. For more security, we hid a cell phone in our car as a tracking device (using Google’s Find My Device) just in case our wheels leave home without us.
My fear soared recently when the building manager knocked on everyone’s door: the master key was stolen, the key that opens all apartments. Yikes. Until new locks were installed, Paul and I never left home together. One of us remained behind, deadbolts in place.
But. We can install as many security systems as we can find on hardware shelves and online sites. Gadgets won’t stop every theft, not since discovering the LockPickingLawyer on YouTube – he picks sturdy locks and opens combo safes within moments.
What we really need is to stop people before they become criminals through poverty and drug use, a lack of housing and limited education. This is the fractured structure that keeps citizens like us awake at night.
Fortunately, there are reinforcements. A Home Away from Home in Toronto approaches homelessness for young people with an agenda built on “solutions-focused” advocacy. The coalition realizes that effort must come from many sectors: child protection, income supports, mental health, training and, of course, housing.
The Canadian Municipal Network on Crime Prevention was created to reduce crime and foster community safety and well-being. CMNCP aims to increase investment in crime prevention strategies in municipalities. The Network’s vision, and equally our vision, is a community free from crime and violence “through strategies that go beyond reactive policing and the criminal justice system.”
I detect a solid pattern here: education, housing and health care along with social and youth services, all sustained by “strong leadership, adequate funding and support from the police and criminal justice system.”
Small steps. Big steps. Is this beneficial direction happening fast enough? You tell me. I really want to shift to a more positive mindset. When you’re the victim of crime – both real and theoretical – you feel disheartened, even traumatized.
No need yet for exposure therapies and coping strategies. But as for any evolution in my life, I’m still a nervous wreck! Hopefully these community supports and growing groups of dedicated advocates will help me sleep better at night.
A person can dream, can’t she?
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