North Battleford city hall has an idea to take the neighbourhood watch concept to a whole new level in an effort to reduce preventable crime, but will need residents to join the campaign to make it successful.
City manager, Jim Puffalt, was happy to announce the city is no longer number one on the Crime Severity Index for severe crime, but was disappointed the city still ranked at the top for what he called “preventable crime.”
In an effort to address preventable crime, the city has created the Eyes that Care Campaign. Puffalt said the goal is to get neighborhood residents to get to know one another as much as possible so they will look out for each other and be able to recognize when something isn’t right.
“We believe that if we can engage residents to take responsibility for their areas, that we can achieve a 10 per cent decrease in preventable crimes,” Puffalt said. “We are going to invite people to join our program and we want people to meet their neighbors and display a sign in their front window that shows they’re watching the neighborhood.”
The sign has two uses as the front face warns potential criminals that residents of the home are keeping an eye for illegal activity. The sign also has instructions on the back informing those in the home what to do if they see any suspicious activity and preventative methods to deter it becoming criminal.
“Lighting up an area is also a great way to prevent crime and so when people join, we will give them a solar powered LED motion sensor light,” Puffalt said. “Our hope is that people will install these on the front of their houses to deter people from walking down and shopping their car. The more lighting in an area, the more opportunity to deter crime.”
Puffalt said 90 per cent of crimes occur after sundown and the city does what it can to light up areas with street lights, but it is up to residents to illuminate their own properties. He said the city will provide help to anyone who cannot install the motion sensor.
The city manager added meeting dates for Eyes that Care have not been set, but he plans to have two before Christmas and three afterwards. Any interested residents can contact city hall if they would like to join.
The city manager also encouraged residents to report any suspicious activity to the RCMP along with locking car and property doors regardless of their plans of joining the group or not.
On Twitter @realgreghiggins
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