What is Block Watch?
Block Watch is a free program offered by the Oak Bay Police Department with the goal to build safer neighbourhoods throughout the Municipality of Oak Bay. Through training, education and communication, Block Watch aims to reduce the opportunity for property offences (ie. Break and enters, thefts, thefts from autos and vandalism) within a neighbourhood. By having a unified commitment, participating communities can be proactive in promoting safety for themselves, their families and their neighbours.
How does Block Watch work?
Block Watch is a neighbour-helping-neighbour program. Residents on a block form a communication chain aided by a block map of names, numbers and addresses. They watch out for each other’s homes and report suspicious activity to the police and to each other, to reduce the likelihood of residential crime.
There are three roles that make up a Block Watch group; Captain, Participants, and the Oak Bay Police Block Watch Coordinator. The Captain oversees the active status and maintenance of the group, while participants are the people in a neighbourhood who agree to be a part of an Oak Bay Block Watch group.
The Oak By Block Watch Coordinator provides guidance, information, advice, crime prevention tips and support.
Benefits of Block Watch:
- Crime reduction and a safer community
- A greater sense of community, belonging and pride in your neighbourhood
- Practical information on home security, risk reduction and reporting
- Direct information on property crime in and around participating neighbourhoods
- Positive community/police relations through pro-active policing
- Quarterly Block Watch newsletters
- Visibility as participants in the program
- Discounts on home insurance premiums (5%-15%)
Six Steps to a Successful Block Watch:
- Look out for and help one another
- Upgrade your security hardware (to withstand a 45-second constant attack)
- Mark your property with your BC driver’s License number
- Notify Police of criminal activity
- Notify your block captain for crime fan-out
- Hold annual Block Watch meeting for the street
How to get a Block Watch Started?
- Contact the Oak Bay Police Block Watch Coordinator at 250-592-2424 for an application package
- Return completed application to be processed (NO canvassing until the application is accepted)
- Once accepted, meet with Block Watch Coordinator to receive a canvassing package
- Canvass your neighbours and complete a map and participation list (50% participation required)
- Hold an initial block meeting:
- Hosted by Block Captain or Co-Captain
- Distribute maps, certificates, and Block Watch decals
- Presentation by Block Watch office if representative available
For more information please contact the Block Watch Coordinator at 250-592-2424