Worried about crime in your neighbourhood? Join a Block Watch program - InfoNews

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Worried about crime in your neighbourhood? Join a Block Watch program

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May 07, 2019 - 4:00 PM

You don't have to go very far to hear people complaining about property crime in Kamloops and the Okanagan and while the causes of crime are complex, residents can do one simple thing to help protect themselves - join a Block Watch program.

Kelowna resident, and Block Watch Society of British Columbia president, Regan Borisenko urges Interior residents to join the program and be part of the solution in the fight against crime.

"It gives people a sense of community, a sense of not being afraid and also what to do if they do see criminal activity taking place," Borisenko said. "We teach people what suspicious behaviour looks like, we teach people to observe what doesn't belong in their neighbourhood, we teach people what to do when suspicious behaviour turns into criminal behaviour."

Block Watch programs train people to be the "eyes and ears" of the community and teach people how not to be the victim of crime. It asks residents to to look after their neighbours' properties as if they were their own.

Borisenko said a Block Watch coordinator will come out to the community and work closely with local residents to create crime prevention groups.

While the majority of people approach Block Watch once they have been a victim of crime, Borisenko encourages people to sign up first, to prevent them from being victims of crime.

And while talking about crime may sound like it could make people paranoid and more scared, Borisenko said that's not the case.

"What we're doing is empowering people... this education brings a sense of empowerment to do something," Borisenko said.

As Block Watch groups focus on community safety, emergency preparedness is also part of their outreach. With another fire season looming in the Interior this aspect could be key.

As the warm weather arrives, and more people are out and about, and garage doors are more likely to be left open, Borisenko said there are five things people can do to reduce the chance of falling prey to criminals:

  1. Lock all your doors and windows, especially the door between the house and the garage. Always lock car doors.
  2. Don't leave purses or other valuables in an obvious place in your home.
  3. Leave lights on all night outside your house. Criminals like dark places. A 15-watt bulb is enough of a deterrent.
  4. Join a Block Watch program.
  5. Report all crime to the RCMP. If you don't report a crime, it basically never happened.

For more information on the Block Watch Society of British Columbia go here.


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