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Block Watch program achieves liftoff

Block Watch is gaining steam across the city.

So far 40 neighbourhoods have signed up for the program.
Constable Paula Perry says the program strengthens the familiarity between residents and police.

“Powell River is a great community,” she said. “They are really involved. The other thing that Block Watch does is it kind of develops a relationship between community and police, so it gets us out there and gets them familiar with what we do and comfortable with coming to police.”

The Powell River detachment registered as an official participant in the program.

Perry said the program basically sees neighbours calling in any potentially criminal activity to the detachment.

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“It’s basically neighbours looking out for each other,” she said. “They keep an eye out for each other so if they notice anything in their neighbourhood, if they notice anything in their yards that they report all suspicious activity to police.”

The program is still in its infant stages so Perry is hoping that the number of neighbourhoods involved will double within the next year.

Next up is a training session for future Block Watch captains.

“Each block will get a captain, and the captain liases directly with police and then relays the information to their neighbourhood. I’ll identify block captains and then I’ll do a training session, and once that gets up and running then I’ll see if I can expand the interest in the community.”

Perry said a spike in property crime has spurred interest in the program.

“I think people are a little bit concerned with the increase in property crime and being involved in their own safer communities,” she said.

Anyone interested in signing up their neighbourhood can call the Powell River RCMP. There must be proof of at least 50 percent participation in each block.

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