During our meeting with Councillor Nunziata and a representative of Division 12 yesterday, the residents of Cannes Circle voted unanimously to establish a community watch program for our street. We hope that this step will encourage other streets to adopt a similar program.
There will be another meeting scheduled with Division 12 to receive training on how to make the neightbourhood watch program work. One thing is for sure though, the fundemental success factor is that residents actively participate and cooperate to make the community safer. This program and training will give us the tools and a framework to help us work together and with the police to proactively make our streets safe.
For more information please visit the following web sites:
Neighbourhood Watch: http://www.neighbourhoodwatchregistry.com/
Crime Prevention: http://www.cpatoronto.org/main.htm
So what happens in a neighbourhood watch meeting:
1. Canvass your neighbourhood using pamphlets outlining Neighbourhood Watch. Determine how many of your neighbours are as concerned as you, and are interested in participating in the program.
2. After you have determined the level of interest your neighbourhood, arrange for a meeting place large enough to hold your group, such as a school, church, or community centre.
3. Contact the Police Liaison to arrange a mutually agreeable date and time for the meeting. Flyers and letters regarding the program and upcoming meeting may then be prepared and distributed. Enlist the aid of a few of your neighbours in distributing these.
4. The Police Liaison will assist you by supplying maps outlining your Neighbourhood Watch boundaries, dividing your area into blocks (15-25 homes), and suggesting an agenda.
5. At the meeting, the Police Liaison will explain the Neighbourhood Watch concept, Operation Identification, home security and the method of reporting incidents to the Police Services. The purpose of the meeting will not only be to convey this information to your neighbours, but also to identify Block Captains and Assistants. One volunteer on each block will ensure there is at least one candidate for Block Captain or Assistant.
Once the above steps are completed, check with the local Police Service or the Neighbourhood Watch representative in your area as to the requirements needed for recognition of the Neighbourhood Watch program. Requirements can vary by community, in some the Police Services Liaison will require complete residents list and in others, the names of the Area Coordinator and Block Captains are sufficient.