Block Watch FAQ

How Much time does being a participant take?

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Block Watch is a program of neighbours helping neighbours. The Block Watch Program is a free community-based crime prevention program administered by your local police. Residents on a street or in a complex form a communication chain, aided by a block map of names, telephone numbers, and addresses. They make a commitment to watch out for each other’s homes, and report suspicious activities to the police and to each other. They also keep each other informed about neighbourhood occurrences, burglary, thefts, and other crimes or problems occurring on their street.

Remember if you see a situation that doesn’t feel right, it’s suspicious. Write down the description of any suspicious persons. Get the model, color and licence numbers of strange vehicles. Call the police immediately. Don’t assume someone else has called. If criminal activity has occurred let your Block Watch Captain and neighbors know but CALL THE POLICE FIRST.

FAQ
How does Block Watch work?

It really only takes seconds to look up and down your street, alley or at the school or park.

What is the primary function of the Block Captain?

The primary function is to set up communication between neighbours and serve as the link between Block Watch participants and the Block Watch office.

The Block Watch Captain or Co-Captain is not responsible to keep crime off the block, to patrol the area or be responsible for everyone's house keys when they are on vacation.

What if I can't be a Captain or Co-Captain anymore?

Please find someone on your block that would like to take over the position. Once you have, please contact the Block Watch Coordinators with the updated information: new contact name, number, address, and email address.

What does Block Watch provide?

General home security tips

Tips to prevent theft from or of motor vehicles, RV’s, etc.

Personal Safety tips

Block Watch window stickers

Block Watch street signs

Newsletters to keep you informed of current crime trends, home security, Block Watch events, and much, much more!

How to properly recognize and report crime and suspicious activity to the police

In most incidents, a general reduction in crime

Continued Police partnership

A greater sense of safety among residents

A coordinator and / or police officer to attend your first meeting

Some insurance companies may offer a discounted rate once given the WVPD Block Watch code number

What does it mean to be a part of Block Watch?

Block Watch does not require you to perform any special tasks, attend a lot of meetings, or take on extra responsibilities.

You are not required to patrol the neighbourhood.

You are not required to actively pursue offenders. In fact we strongly discourage this.

Block Watch involves simply being normally alert as a part of your everyday life. For example, when you go to the window to open or close the drapes, a quick glance for anything unusual or suspicious can be a starting point for helping police keep your neighbourhood safe.

When you leave your residence to go to work, instead of heading for the car with "tunnel vision", glance up and check the neighbourhood. This day-to-day alertness is the kind of "watching" involved in Block Watch.

Being a part of Block Watch does not require you to intrude into privacy of your neighbours, or to share your own personal business. Block Watch requires only that you and your neighbours be familiar enough with each other to help sense when activity in the area is abnormal or suspicious, what persons or vehicles are normally in the area and to recognize when something suspicious is going on.

Block Watch is not just for homeowners. The Block Watch concept of "neighbour watching out for neighbour" is just as important for renters as for homeowners.

How much time does being a participant take?

It really only takes seconds to look up and down your street, alley or at the school or park.

How can I get involved?

Contact West Vancouver Police to see if there is a Block Watch in your area.

If your street does not have an active Block Watch, someone must volunteer to become the Block Captain and enlist the help of Co-Captain(s). All Captains and Co-Captains must be approved by the police. This merely involves the completion of an application form.

Responsibilities of the Block Captain / Co-Captain

Serving as a Captain or Co-Captain is not time consuming and you do not have to be home at all times to volunteer.

You are responsible for the following:

Attend training/information session provided by the West Vancouver Police/Block Watch office

Canvass neighbors to explain the program and encourage participation

Maintain an accurate list and map of all participants and provide an updated copy to the West Vancouver Police 

Ensure that yearly neighborhood meetings are held

Act as a liaison between the police department and block watch participants by providing important crime information to participants when required

Set a good example by initiating home security and target hardening measure in your own home

Distribute the Block Watch Newsletter

Welcome new residents by explaining the Block Watch Program and encouraging participation

Organize regular meetings that focus on current issues i.e. youth and alcohol, theft from autos etc

Adopt a park, playground or street. Pick up litter, paint over graffiti etc

Don’t forget social events that give neighbors a chance to know each other: A block party, potluck dinner, volley ball or soft ball game, picnic, food drive for the food bank etc.

What do Block Watch members look for? ie. suspicious activity

Sounds of breaking glass or shattering wood

Unusual noises

Beam from flashlight or light in neighbor’s home

Persons going door to door

Someone looking into windows of parked cars

Persons waiting in front of a home or loitering around the neighborhood

A stranger in the back yard

Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or a business after it has closed

Property being loaded into a vehicle or being removed from a vehicle

An opened or forced door or window

Strange vehicles parked at your neighbor’s house

Slow moving vehicles cruising the block

A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child

Abandoned cars

Can apartment buildings be part of Block Watch?

Yes! The building is treated like a block. There is a Captain and Co-Captain and they fan out information to the people that would like to be part of Block Watch.