We all want to live in a safe neighborhood, but what defines a safe neighborhood? Some people live in the suburbs while some live in high rise apartment or condos. Both are considered neighborhoods but it’s how we live and interact within that differs.
Most apartment dwellers don’t often know their next door neighbor and for their own safety rely on the building security team to keep them safe. It’s a different story for those living in suburbia. They ensure their own safety within their home and surroundings but also rely on the neighborhood to do its part. It’s called neighbors helping neighbors.
Community run security programs, known as block watch or neighborhood watch rely on the participation of local citizens working together to prevent local crime. It gives people the opportunity to give back to their neighborhood by cooperating to make their community safer.
Citizens are asked to be vigilant for unusual and suspicious activity and report such activity to the police. The most frequent crime is often home burglary. Other offences can include street robbery, car theft, and property vandalism.
Neighborhood watch programs are used in a host of communities. For example, organizations such as Block Watch BC or the Edmonton Police Service help promote such programs. Many other municipalities provide online platforms for concerned groups to connect and register their program. The following story is a great example in Toronto of how it can work.
What makes for a successful neighborhood watch program?
Here are some components to run a successful program.
- Watch: whereby citizens watch for suspicious activity and report such activity to the police.
- Mark your home with warning signs and place street signs noting that a neighborhood watch is in effect.
- Property marking: whereby residents permanently mark personal property, making it harder for criminals to offload stolen goods.
- Secure your home; residents should assess their property for obvious weaknesses such as poor locks, easily accessible windows, or overgrown bushes near windows.
- Other components can include actual citizen patrols, attending educational programs, accessing victim support services, and requesting increased police presence.
- Keeping residents informed about neighborhood issues, recent thefts, and new developments via a neighborhood newsletter.
- Residents in an area can easily create a local communication network using email or Facebook. They can also utilize a map of owner’s addresses, names, and telephone numbers.
There are many components to a great neighborhood watch program that will benefit everyone.
The Windshieldink app can be an added component.
Neighborhood crimes often involve a vehicle parked on the street or in a driveway. The Windshieldink app provides instant contact with a registered member vehicle owner. With the app, any person in the neighborhood can notify a fellow member vehicle owner. For instance, if their vehicle alarm is going off, if they see suspicious activity, vandalism, or simply need to ask someone to move their vehicle. They don’t need to know who owns the vehicle. They only need to see the license plate number to send a message to the owner.
It’s all about neighbors helping neighbors.
Become a member and register your vehicle(s). Simply link an email address to your car, truck, motorcycle, RV, or camper trailer license plate number with Windshieldink. Think of it as an added insurance to protect your property and help create a safer community. It costs you nothing to register.
Take advantage of the Windshieldink app as part of your neighborhood watch program. It’s free to download, free to register and free to send messages. Your neighbors will thank you for your notification if something unfortunate is happening with their vehicle including a message to let them know that the snow plows and car towing operators are on their way down the street.