What is Block Watch?
Block Watch is a crime prevention program which is based on a partnership between the police and members of the community who work together to prevent crime in their neighbourhood.
Block Watch is neighbours helping neighbours through communication. Participants become extra "eyes and ears" for the police, thereby reducing the opportunities for crime and decreasing the likelihood that a crime will occur. Originally started in Seattle in 1973, Block Watch has since expanded across North America and was started in British Columbia in 1986. The Block Watch Program has become one of the largest community crime prevention programs.
The Block Watch Program fights the isolation and separation that crime creates and feeds upon, forges bonds among area residents and businesses, helps reduce burglaries and other crime, and improves relations between the police and the community they serve.
There are currently 340 active Block Watch streets in West Vancouver.
Neighbours Helping Neighbours
Block Watch is really just an extension of what you are probably already doing on an informal basis. We tend to know and watch out for our closest neighbours, but a group of neighbours at one end of the block, who are doing this, may not know the group of neighbours at the other end of the block.
Organizing a Block Watch makes this attitude of watchfulness more systematic, and provides a block map with neighbours' names and telephone numbers that can be used in the case of an emergency.
Block Watch involves two commitments:
- A commitment to be concerned about your neighbour's property as well as your own.
- A commitment that when you see suspicious activity, you will take action by calling your neighbour or the West Vancouver Police Department at 604.925.7300. If you observe a crime occurring call 9-1-1.