More eyes on the street

Some residents of Baffin Drive are considering forming a Neighbourhood Watch, says Mount Pearl Mayor Dave Aker.

That would bring to nine the number of Neighbourhood Watch groups active in the city.

Aker delivered the news during an update on the Neighbourhood Watch program by planning and development committee chairperson Bill Antle.

Antle said the City has been successful in building a network of residents charged with deterring crime and building strong neighbourhood relationships.

"The program teaches residents to secure their property, be aware of their surroundings, communicate with their neighbours, be alert to suspicious activity, and advising police of suspicious activity," Antle said. "Being a Watch member involves being watchful for suspicious activity in the neighbourhood and reporting such activity. It does not require patrolling of the neighbourhood, invasion of neighbours' privacy, or confronting or chasing criminals."

Mayor Aker said that is good advice. "Safety and policing your community is everybody's responsibility," said Aker. "Of course, the police and our municipal enforcement officers have their roles, but it's nice to have people watching out for their neighbours and if they see suspicious activity never to engage with those who may be doing something wrong, but to ensure the authorities are contacted. We can be the eyes and ears for our municipal enforcement as well as our RNC detachment."

The eight active Watch programs are located at Avery Place, Clover Brae Crescent, Pearlgate Terrace, Goldeneye Place - Harlequin Crescent, Badcock Place, Brookhaven, - Grandy Crescent and Castors Drive, LeDrew Place and Gillett Place.

Councillor Lucy Stoyles said the City does get complaints from time to time, especially this time of year, about vandalism and car break-ins. She shared a personal experience involving neighbourhood crime.

"Less than two weeks ago on a Friday night I was looking out my window and somebody was walking around in the neighbourhood, somebody I didn't recognize, it was a cold night and the next thing I saw them come up and open my van,” she said. “I went down and yelled and they took off. But you don't know when people are going to be in your neighbourhood. Back a number of years ago one of my friends who lived on Jeffers Drive owned one of five houses targeted that night. They were in bed asleep when things were taken out of their houses and they still can't get over it. So, it's great having a Neighbourhood Watch in each of the communities and any communities that want to (form one), our municipal police are willing to go set it up. We do it all the time and I think it's great."

Posted on December 13, 2018 .