Crime Prevention Neighbourhood Watch
Neighbours Watching out for Neighbours
The Neighbourhood Watch program is a proactive concept designed to reduce residential break and enters and other property crimes within a community. Through increased awareness and crime prevention tips, participating community members are encouraged to develop good security habits and to watch out for each other’s property. A police officer patrolling your community may not recognize a stranger inside your yard or an unusual vehicle in your neighbourhood, but your neighbours would. An active Neighbourhood Watch can result in savings on your insurance premium.
HOW IT WORKS
The program works through mutual aid – Neighbourhood Watch members look out for their neighbours homes and property.
Suspicious persons or activities.
Vehicles passing by numerous times, suspiciously parked, or constantly traveling in back lanes.
Strangers in your neighbourhood. Someone may use an unanswered doorbell as an indication that no one is home, and use the opportunity to break into the house.
The person “taking a short-cut” through a yard.
Strange vehicles parked at your neighbour’s house.
If you see something suspicious don’t assume someone else has called the police. It is your neighbourhood – if you see something you feel is suspicious – TakeAction and do something about it. Note the description of the suspicious person and/or vehicle and call the police immediately at 204-986-6222.
If you see an actual crime in progress, immediately telephone the Emergency number 911 and report this incident to the police. Do not confront any suspicious persons yourself or attempt an arrest, as your safety could be jeopardized. Call the police! See Reporting Emergencies for more information.
WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO
Exchange work and vacation schedules with a neighbour you trust, so you can keep an eye on each other’s homes.
If your neighbour is away, and you see an obvious invitation to a burglar, correct it. (Close the open garage door or remove the accumulation of newspapers and mail from their doorstep or mailbox.)
HOW TO DEVELOP THE PROGRAM
The most important thing is – get involved. The safest communities are those where the residents are committed to crime prevention and the Neighbourhood Watch program. To have an active Neighbourhood Watch block, the following must be in place:
There MUST be someone on the block who is designated as Block Captain.
The Block Captain is the backbone of the Neighbourhood Watch Program. Block Captains on active blocks receive crime notifications from the police and “fan out” this information to other Neighbourhood Watch members on their block. They also attend one or two special Block Captain meetings each year where they are given additional information on crime prevention and related topics. If there is no one willing to volunteer a few hours a year as a Block Captain, the block is removed from the Neighbourhood Watch Program.
Crime Prevention Officers can provide a one and a half hour presentation on crime prevention techniques. Crime Awareness presentations are open to the public and are held in various locations throughout the city.
Once a block meets the criteria listed above, information will start flowing from the Police Service to the Block Captain for distribution to all Neighbourhood Watch members on the block. The police will pass on information regarding recent crimes that have occurred in the area, as well as other special information that will be of interest to members.
Remember: Without volunteers – this program does not work. Get involved!
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH TIPS
Following these simple tips can make your neighbourhood a safer place to live.
Put the Neighbourhood Watch window decals up immediately.
Get to know your neighbours and encourage them to attend a Crime Awareness Presentation.
Conduct a security audit of your home and make every effort to upgrade any weaknesses.
Take part in Operation Identification. Borrow an engraver from the Police Service and mark and record items of value.
Practice every personal safety and home security precaution.
If you witness a crime in progress – TakeAction and phone 911. Stay on the line and give whatever information you can to the operator. If you wish to remain anonymous – tell the operator - but still provide them with the information that they request.
If you see activity that you feel is suspicious, phone the police immediately at 204-986-6222.
If you are a victim of any type of crime – report it to the police. Remember that the police do not know what crimes are happening in your neighbourhood unless you tell them. You should also advise your Block Captain and neighbours. They may have seen or heard of something that could help the police in their investigation.
The Police advise your Block Captain of crimes that occur on or in relation to your block. Your Block Captain passes this information on to you by telephone fan-out. Be sure to always pass on this information. Communicate with your neighbours. Share information - and together you can make a difference.
Remember, it takes three: you, your Block Captain and the police to keep your Neighbourhood Watch working.
It is up to you to keep “Watching”.
If you wish more information or assistance in starting Neighbourhood Watch on your block, please contact your local Citizens for Crime Awareness chapter or the Winnipeg Police Service Community Relations Unit at 204-986-6322 or email us
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