Make the effort to take the appropriate steps to protect yourself, your family and your property. Then it is time to extend the scope of your efforts and become involved with neighbours who are equally concerned and are also willing to join with you to build a safer community. Putting crime prevention into action will help contribute to your peace of mind and enjoyment of your community.
Community policing programs, like a Neighborhood Watch program that is established in co-operation with the local police, have shown great success in reducing property crime around the world. Burglars know when they’re being watched. And they don’t like it.
The Ontario Provincial Police believes in being an integral part of our community. They recognize that working more closely with us – the people who live in, work in and visit our town – has significant benefits for all involved. By including us as active partners, the OPP can reduce repeat calls through problem solving and deal with the underlying problems – not just the incidents.
It is important that crime be prevented at the community level. The Neighbourhood Watch is a program that invites community participation, encouraging and educating residents to report crime and related problems in a formal and organized manner.
If we take a cooperative, active role in crime prevention, criminals will find it difficult to operate in our neighbourhoods.
Neighbourhood Watch is simply a program of neighbours watching other neighbours property during times when burglaries are likely to occur. A police officer patrolling your community may not recognize a stranger in your yard – but your neighbours would! The program works through mutual aid – Neighbours Watching out for Neighbours. Neighbours know who you are, what type of car you own and may be the first to notice a burglar at your window or door. Each neighbour can effectively watch those homes to each side, the front, and the back of their own home.
Residents in an involved neighbourhood will assist their immediate neighbours by watching each others' property and reporting suspicious activity to the police. This program can be an effective deterrent to crime while respecting the individual's need for privacy. The Neighbourhood Watch program has been adapted to other concepts including marinas, apartments, cottage areas, and rural districts.
In partnership with local police, community members may learn how to make their homes and businesses less inviting for opportunistic criminals, how to participate in other crime prevention programs and how to recognize and safely report any suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods.
The network also works as a conductor for information. Through watch and zone coordinators, information can spread fast to help protect neighbourhoods from crime.
If your neighbourhood would like to set up or reactivate a Watch Group, please contact us. We will be happy to meet with you and discuss starting, revitalizing or joining Neighbourhood Watch in your community.