Opinion: Working together to prevent crime

Block Watch is the front line of crime prevention – a way to take ownership or your neighbourhood.

They say, “Fences make good neighbours.”

But there are times when neighbours need to break down fences (at least metaphorically) to build a stronger neighbourhood.

The Block Watch program is a good example of that. (See story.)

Under the auspices of Chilliwack Crime Prevention Services, it provides homeowners with resources and advice, aimed at keeping neighbourhoods safe.

The program isn’t new, nor is the philosophy novel. It’s all about neighbours watching out for each other, based on the belief that standing together is better than struggling alone.

It has a proven track record of reducing the incidents of crime. It’s shown that when residents take ownership of their block they are more likely to notice suspicious activity and report it to police.

They’re better equipped, better organized and more motivated to keep their neighbourhood crime free.

Criminals who see the Block Watch signs prominently posted on lamp posts, meanwhile, know that their activities are being watched a little more closely.

And those signs have to be earned; they’re not just window dressing. Residents have to commit to the program, elect a captain and co-captain, and remain an active part of the larger Block Watch community or the signs will be re-assigned to another neighbourhood.

Unfortunately, too often homeowners only think of Block Watch after a rash of thefts, or the incursion of a “problem house.”

But the program works best when introduced early. After all, it’s intended to be a pro-active tool rather that re-active.

It’s the front line of crime prevention – a way to take ownership or your neighbourhood so that you and your neighbours can live in peace and security.

With or without the fences.

To find out more about Block Watch in Chilliwack, email Jen Dueck at jen.dueck@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Two people, dog escape house fire in Chilliwack

The early-morning blaze started around 6 a.m. on Third Avenue

Chilliwack Chiefs host Langley as Sardis Sports Complex opens

The BCHL teams will play a preseason game on the new ice sheet Aug. 29.

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Envision Financial hosting barbecue fundraiser at Chilliwack’s Sardis Park to help fire victims

Residents of the Park Ridge apartment building are struggling in the wake of the devastating fire.

Cougar spotted in Seabird Island

Residents are asked to report all sightings to conservation

Chilliwack hosts police from around the world in specialized training

Members of the International Police Association hold training workshop in Canada for the first time

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Portland, Oregon, awaits right-wing rally, counter protests

Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson surrendered Friday on an arrest warrant for felony rioting

Police identify 45-year-old victim in South Surrey stabbing

Delphin Paul Prestbakmo died at the scene, near 18 Avenue and 152 Street

Kraft Heinz brand baby food recalled in B.C. due to possibility of insects

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the product should not be consumed

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Puppy rescued from smoky South Surrey condo

Fire alarms brought firefighters to the Morgan Crossing residences around 7 p.m.

Most Read