The Vancouver Block Watch celebrated 25 years by presenting to the Vancouver Police Board the benefits of the program, its results and its goals for the next five years.
The Vancouver Block Watch is a VPD community-based crime prevention program run by one police officer and one civilian coordinator. It is a “boots on the ground” network designed to build police/citizen relationships and to help neighbourhoods protect their communities. As Const. Dave Krenz said, “property crime suspects can hide from the police… but it is difficult for them to hide from residents and home owners that are Block Watch-trained.”
The Block Watch’s goal is to help make Vancouver Canada’s safest major city by training citizens how to look out and report suspicious criminal activity. A part of that goal is to reduce property crime by five per cent per year and 25 per sent over the next five years.
“One of the key benefits is for people to take some responsibility for safety in their own community,” said Elaine Barbour, vice-president of the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre Board of Directors and captain of her block watch. “I think that is very important and that is something that Block Watch trains us to be.”
According to the crime map from the city’s website, from Oct. 15 2013 to Oct. 15, 2014, Richmond has had a total of 1248 reported cases of property crimes. 828 residential break and enters, 256 commercial break and enters, and 164 theft of auto crimes. There were 146 reported cases in the past month alone.
The Richmond Block Watch was unavailable for an interview.
PS: This was originally pitched in October 2014.