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Published on Nov 30, 2012
Neighbourhood Watch provides a means of reducing the opportunity for crime to occur through the active participation of citizens in crime prevention.
There are three steps involved in the success of the program; getting to know your neighbours, communicating with residents and police, and training residents in home security and crime prevention. Neighbours are taught how to make their homes less inviting as a target for thieves, how to participate in Operation Identification to make their personal property less visible and less desirable to burglars, and how to be alert to suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods.
Neighbours working together, alert to the potential for crime and knowing each other's routines, can combat crime in a most effective way -- before it starts. Contacting police when an unknown and suspicious person is lurking nearby or when a moving van has pulled up to your neighbour's driveway could very well stop a crime before it occurs.
Operation Identification allows the police to return stolen items to their proper owners by teaching Neighbourhood Watch participants to use an engraved 'mark' (their car licence plate) to identify their valuables. Stolen property that has been marked by an electric engraving pencil can be placed on CPIC, a nationwide police information computer. Also, officers who recover property engraved with a car licence plate will be able to run the plate on the Ministry of Transportation database and identify the owner, thus allowing the property to be returned, and keeping it out of the property auction. Some items to be considered for marking are appliances, televisions, power tools, snowmobiles and ATVs, cameras, and weapons. Criminals are also deterred by the decal that is placed near a participant's front and back door indicating that valuable items in the home have been 'marked for easy police identification'.
Over 180 Neighbourhood Watch groups have been endorsed in Durham Region and approximately 100 areas are in the early stages of implementing the program.
For more information on endorsing a group or participating in Neighbourhood Watch, contact the Regional Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator at (905) 668-9893, or email email@example.com.