What is the Building Safer Communities Block Watch?
The Building Safer Communities Block Watch is a program designed to bring communities together to aid in reducing crime in their local neighborhood.
This is achieved is by using Facebook groups to connect people in a larger community, and then is further broken down into smaller groups that match area streets. These smaller area groups allow neighbors to talk and discuss issues in their area for more local concerns. The larger group is to make people aware of items that might affect the whole community. These pages are run by local citizens whom have made a choice to help their community out. The administrators and moderators of these groups work with local police and various members of government on items of concern for the community.
How this works is, if someone sees something suspicious or of concern, they call CPS right away and then post the information to the corresponding group. This allows members in the group to hear and in some cases see items near real time. This give people the heads up to keep an eye out which in turn results in more calls to CPS thus giving them more information to react and assign resources accordingly.
Local moderators and area wide admins will routinely have meetings with Calgary Police Community Resource officers to bring forward citizens’ concerns or items that are affecting the community. Calgary police will let the admins know of trends or items they would like citizens to be aware of. In some cases Calgary Police will let us know the outcome of some items that were called into Calgary Police.
In the smaller groups, neighbors will have a greater chance to get to know each other. This is achieved by members or community hosting or going to local events like neighbor day BBQ, or other events. Neighbors getting to know each other aids in helping people know who belongs in the area.
In the just over three years of the program has run, we have gone from under 50 members to over 10000+ members and growing daily. With seeing drops in crime in those areas. When we first started with the original area, we would have 10 to 15 reports a week of crime. That has now lowered to an average of about one a week now. This is all thanks to citizens being informed and reporting anything out of the norm to Calgary Police. Then posting that information to their neighbours through the social media groups. With regular meetings with the community resource officers, community association, and government officials. This allows the community to bring issues forward, and provides an avenue for feedback from Calgary Police and other officials back into the community.
Country Hills Village
Crowfoot Business Area
Hidden Valley / Hanson Ranch
Crowfoot Business Association
Glendale / Glendale Meadows
Gateway South Centre
Sandstone / MacEwan
Killarney / Glengarry
If you’re interested in getting your community up and running with a program like this, please call the Northern Hills Community Association and ask about talking to one of the committee members to help you get set up. Please see their web site here: NHCA