Neighbourhood Watch is a program used to help reduce crime in a community. It involves getting to know your neighbours and introducing them to the concept of Neighbourhood Watch. Neighbourhood Watch is simply good neighbours working together by keeping eyes and ears open to signs of possible crime in their area so they can help to stop it before it starts. Both Halifax Regional Police and RCMP offer this program and both operate the same way.
All members of Neighbourhood Watch get a personal identification number (PIN). If you ever call to report an incident, you only have to give your number. Your identity is protected. Your name, address and phone number are kept on file within the City Watch database and only your Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator has access.
The citizens involved in Neighbourhood Watch are in a great position to watch out for each other. Their participation offers some extra protection to their neighbourhoods and the possibility of preventing criminal activity before it starts. Citizens are taught how to make their homes less inviting as a target for thieves, how to participate in Operation Identification through making their personal property less desirable to burglars and how to recognize suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods.
The Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator from Halifax Regional Police or RCMP Halifax District will attend a “start up” meeting where an overview of the Neighbourhood Watch program will be explained. The meeting is informal and is only approximately 30 minutes. You will be informed about when you should call the police to report something, discuss ideas on how to keep your neighbourhood watch group active, and any questions you have relating to your particular neighbourhood will be answered. There is no cost to join the Neighbourhood Watch program. If you join into a group already formed, then the Neighbourhood Watch Captain for your area will be able to give you a quick overview on the program.
Not many people are able to protect their homes and property all of the time. Vacation, business and shopping trips, or even an evening out leave homes unattended and more prone to theft. The Neighbourhood Watch program may provide a sense of security for neighbours and their families who leave their homes for any length of time. The program also helps support police efforts in the community in tracking down criminals. Strong community involvement is encouraged because neighbourhoods that unite help to stop crime before it starts. Neighbours who join together can bring a feeling of peace and safety to situations that may otherwise threaten them.
If you would like to sign up for the Neighbourhood Watch Program we ask that you provide your name, address and phone number. An HRP member will call or e-mail you with your Neighbourhood Watch registration number. We ask that you contact our Community Relations/Crime Prevention section with this information by calling 490-5397 (HRP) 244-7208 (RCMP).
There are quite a few other opportunities for volunteering. To find out more about HRP’s programs, contact our Community Relations/Crime Prevention section at 490-5397 or visit us at: www.halifax.ca/Police/getinvolved.html. To find out more about RCMP’s programs, call 244-7208 (1-800-803-7267 for outlying areas) or visit us at: www.halifax.ca/Police/getinvolved.html.
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