Block Watch

A neighbour is your Best Burglar Alarm.

Block Watch is all about neighbours helping neighbours. Households, apartments or condominiums on a block form a communication chain aided by a map of names, telephone numbers and addresses. Participants watch out for each others' homes and report suspicious activities to the police and each other. This communication is crucial in reducing the likelihood of residential crime.

Join a Block Watch

Joining or starting a Block Watch in your neighbourhood takes just a couple minutes of your time. Find out more.

History

The Block Watch program was initiated in Seattle in 1974, with participating homes seeing a decrease in residential break-ins of between 48-62%. Surrey was the first municipality in B.C. to start a Block Watch program, which has now spread the length of the Lower Mainland and through several communities across the Province.

Mission

Working together, building safer neighbourhoods throughout British Columbia.

Purpose

A commitment to communities to build safer neighbourhoods by providing support, guidance, training and resource materials to develop and operate Block Watch programs.

Goals:

To build a crime-free British Columbia through community participation.
Together we can build safer communities throughout British Columbia


Being a Captain

Block Watch doesn't require you to perform any special tasks, go to a lot of meetings, or take on extra responsibilities.  You don't have to patrol the neighborhood, or tell your neighbors every aspect of your business.  Block Watch just involves being alert as a part of your everyday life.

  • Complete an application/security clearance form
  • Attend 2 hour training/information session provided by your local police/block watch office.
  • Canvass neighbors to explain the program and encourage participation
  • Maintain an accurate list and map of all participants and provide an update copy to your local police/block watch office annually.
  • Host an initial meeting to implement the program
  • Ensure that yearly neighborhood meetings are held.
  • Act as a liaison between the police department and block watch participants by providing important crime information to participants when required
  • Set a good example by initiating home security and target hardening measure in his/her own home.
  • Distribute the Block Watch Newsletter.
  • Welcome new residents by explaining the Block Watch Program and encouraging participation.

Join a Block Watch

Joining or starting a Block Watch in your neighbourhood takes just a couple minutes of your time. If your street does not have an active Block Watch, someone must volunteer to become the Block Captain and enlist the help of Co-Captain(s). All Captains and Co-Captains must be security cleared by the Police. This merely involves the completion of a Security Clearance Application form.

To discuss creating or joining a Block Watch in your neighbourhood, click on the button bellow to email our Community Programs Coordinator or by phone at 250-995-7409.

Five Steps to Starting a Block Watch

  1. Recruit and organize as many neighbors as possible.
  2. Contact VicPD Community Programs Coordinator and schedule a meeting.
  3. Discuss community concerns and develop an action plan.
  4. Hold regular meetings and train on relevant skills.
  5. Implement a phone tree and take action steps.

Benefits of the Block Watch program:

  • studies have shown that crime is reduced in active Block Watch neighbourhoods
  • Block Watch teams can develop a sense of community pride and connection with their neighbours
  • you will learn how to better protect your home, identify suspicious behaviour and more effectively report it
  • active Block Watch teams have direct access to a police officer for support and guidance in dealing with your neighbourhood crime issues
  • you will be connected with your local community policing centre for additional support in crime prevention in your neighbourhood
  • receive recognizable Block Watch street signs and door and window decals to identify your block as one that reports suspicious activity to police
  • get connected to the Victoria Police Neighbourhood Crime Alert Program and receive e-mails with postal code-specific crime alerts informing you of important changes in crime trends in your neighbourhood