Kamloops residents take safety into own hands

Image Credit: (Facebook)

KAMLOOPS - Almost 300 Facebook members have joined together online in a group effort to amp up safety and security in Brocklehurst.

A Facebook group dubbed 'Brock Neighbourhood Watch' and administered by Kamloops resident Elly Grabner discusses mischief and potential crimes in the area. Group discussions range from designating 'safe spaces' for those in danger to community holding meetings and information sessions and organizing scheduled walking groups to keep watch.

Grabner started the group last Thursday and it jumped to 200 members within 24 hours. Today, it's nearing the 300-member mark.

"The group has progressed way faster than I ever anticipated," Grabner told InfoTel News.

Grabner started the group after hearing of suspicious behaviour in the area. Early discussion in the group discusses someone allegedly knocking on the doors of multiple homes asking for money.

"More and more, people are relying on social media to spread information, so the original idea behind the Brock Watch group was to have a space where people could report crimes — in addition to reporting to the police — and suspicious activity, so that the neighbourhood as a whole could be aware and keep their eyes and ears open."

"Please post any unusual activity or notable events happening in our neighbourhood. There's way too many violent crimes, break-ins, theft, etc happening in our backyards," Grabner wrote in a post. "We will be working together to bring information and awareness to the Brocklehurst community.

Group plans include neighbourhood walks to show a more visible presence, partnering with merchants in the area who want to become involved, and working with the RCMP to organize community meetings.

Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Cheryl Bush said the concept is beneficial so long as it is a reporting role only, not engaging in anyway. She said it's going back to the basics.

"We think it's important that communities band together," she said. "It's important you kind of get back to good, old-fashioned neighbours looking out for neighbours and talking to your neighbours."

The private group can be found online here. Those who wish to join must be approved by Grabner.

"I'm a proud Brock resident, and the overwhelming response and support from the community only makes me prouder to live here," she said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email: jwallace@infotelnews.ca, call: (250) 319-7494 or tweet: @jess__wallace.

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