Checking in with Downtown

Part 12

Reporting Incidents Downtown

Even before the last few years of COVID-19 restrictions that threw businesses for a loop, we know that there have always been a number of hurdles small businesses have had to overcome.  Downtown Hamilton business owners are proud to be located in the heart of the city and to be part of the resurgence of downtown, but this does not mean they are not facing challenges. Business owners are facing an increase in vandalization and theft from properties. While these can be minor or severe occurrences, have you considered how you might help to address these concerns for your business?

One of the simplest ways to help address these incidents is simply to report them to police. Reporting graffiti or property damage may seem either time-consuming or unhelpful for some business owners who are busy doing their jobs, but it is the best way to help track information and accumulate statistics on what’s going on downtown.

We encourage all business owners to report any crimes against their business, no matter how small they may seem. Crimes such as damage to property, damage to vehicles, lost property, theft, and theft from vehicles can all be reported easily online.  Some requirements for online reporting include that the incident occurred within Hamilton, the value of the property lost or stolen does not exceed $5,000, and there is no suspect information (e.g., name, license plate, photo). If you have a suspect, (e.g., name, license plate, photo) contact the Hamilton Police Non-Emergency line at 905-546-4925. Downtown Hamilton is first and foremost a community, reporting these incidents helps the police to more accurately understand the needs and concerns of downtown businesses and residents. We strive for downtown to be a safe and inclusive space for all those who visit, live, and work in the area.

There are additional options to further safeguard your business. Did you know the Hamilton Police Service’s Crime Prevention Unit has a program to increase the safety and security of your business? Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a concept that involves three basic and overlapping principles – Natural Surveillance, Access Control, and Property Safety. It is a simple theory that proper design and effective use of the physical environment can help reduce the number of crimes. Learn more here. HPS Crime Prevention Branch provides FREE Residential / Business Security Audits. For further information, please contact the Crime Prevention Office at 905-546-4900 or via email here.

Here are some additional simple steps to help secure your business:

• Ensure locks, alarms and CCTV are operational

• Leave lights on inside and out

• Remove high-value items from window view

• Back up all business documentation

• Display empty cash drawer in window view

• Track inventory and update insurance coverage

• Post emergency contact information inside the store

• When checking your business, do so during the day

• Tell your business neighbours your plan

• Report suspicious activity to police at 905-546-4925

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to the Crime Prevention team via email here or 905-546-4903.

As we all continue to do our best to help downtown recoup from the challenges of the past few years, we are constantly reminded of the confidence and dedication of business owners in the core. We continue to see new and unique businesses popping up throughout our area alongside established staples. Catch a glimpse of what our businesses are up to on our Instagram here. You can also stay up to date with the latest resources and events downtown through our bi-weekly e-newsletter, scroll to the bottom of the page here to sign up.

If you are a Downtown Hamilton BIA member business and would like to be featured in a blog post, please email Suzi Ozer at



The Downtown Update is the e-newsletter sent by the Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Area to keep both members of the BIA and interested supporters of Downtown up-to-date with activities and issues in the core of our community.