Kamran Rad

Neighbourhood safety begins at home

West Shore RCMP look to boost Block Watch numbers in region

A safer neighbourhood could be closer than you think.

There are 15 Block Watch neighbourhoods established throughout the West Shore, but the RCMP is looking to further open the lines of communication with the public in the area and urge the public to help limit preventable crime.

Closer ties between neighbours can make a difference in making communities safer, said Const. Emma Rutledge with the West Shore RCMP’s community policing section.

“The summer months may increase crime and we are looking to get the word out to get to get more Block Watch groups out there,” she said.

The well-known program helps the public learn how to best secure their houses and watch out for those of their neighbours, making streets and neighbourhoods less prone to criminal activity.

Cpl. Kathy Rochlitz said a little bit of knowledge can go a long way toward preventing crime.

Simple actions such as trimming trees and shrubs so doors and windows are visible to neighbours is a good place to start, she said. The posting of signs indicating that homes and streets are part of a Block Watch program have also proven to be a deterrent to potential criminals, she added.

“A thief is going to be enticed more by that house of opportunity,” Rochlitz said. “If someone has taken the time and effort to say I have taken this program, I believe in this program, I want you to know about it, it is that one more piece of prevention that maybe sends (thieves) off.”

Homes are targeted during this time of the year, when people spend more time outdoors and go on vacations. Little steps such as ensuring someone collects your newspapers and mail while you are away so they don’t pile up can be a simple, but effective deterrent.

“Those are all telltale signs to criminals that someone is away and it becomes a crime of opportunity,” Rochlitz said.

Local Block Watch captain Kamran Rad, who owns a condo in the Westhills development in Langford, started the program in October. He said it’s been an eye-opening learning experience.

“We haven’t had any serious incidents, as far as I know. It has been pretty good so far,” he said.

There have been unexpected side benefits for Rad as well, not least of which is lower home insurance rates.

“It goes beyond preventing theft and break-ins. It unites the community and helps in other aspects as well,” he said. “You become a large family and everyone watches out for each other.”

All in all, he has enjoyed being a part of the program and highly recommends it to anyone wondering about getting involved.

For more information on Block Watch or to attend an information meeting contact the West Shore RCMP.

alim@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Premier John Horgan announces improvements to Highway 14

Construction on the $10 million project is set to begin immediately

Upgrades to Millstream overpass to begin Feb. 1

Project includes addition of left hand turn lane onto highway to Victoria

Victoria Grizzlies look to continue hot steak

Team hits the road this weekend before Family Fun Night

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Man hospitalized after early morning Sooke Road crash

Police say injuries are non life-threatening

Monster trucks invade Victoria

Traxxas Monster Truck Tour stops at Save-On Foods Memorial Centre this weekend

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

LETTER: The sewage spiral continues in Greater Victoria

My left brain has been trying to digest the news and comments… Continue reading

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Most Read