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Beach Triangle Residents Association

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The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

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Neighbourhood Watch

By David Windrim

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We all want to live and work in safe and healthy communities. Getting involved and becoming an active member of a Neighbourhood Watch group is one way to help make and keep our community a safe place for everyone.

Prevention starts with you. By working together, neighbours can make their community a safer place to live. Neighbourhood Watch provides a means of reducing the opportunity for crime to occur through the active participation of citizens in crime prevention. Citizens are taught how to make their homes less inviting to thieves, their personal property less desirable to burglars, and how to be alert to suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods. Because very few people are able to protect their homes all the time, Neighbourhood Watch provides a sense of security for individuals or families who leave their homes unattended for any length of time.

The program also helps to coordinate the efforts of police and the neighbourhood encouraging strong community involvement and unity, which can deter crime. By getting involved, residents can improve home security, get to know their neighbours and learn what is suspicious, and what to do about it.

Neighbourhood Watch involves five simple steps:

  1. Get to know your neighbours – Keep an eye on your neighbours’ property and they will do the same for you. Tell a trusted neighbour when you will be away and ask them to pick up your flyers, mail and newspapers. Share your phone numbers with a trusted neighbour who would be willing to contact you and who you would be willing to contact in an emergency. Take pride in your community.
  2. Be Alert and Aware – If you see something or someone that looks suspicious, take note. Strangers entering backyards, people knocking on doors and asking for someone whose name you don’t recognize, and occupied vehicles parked for extended periods are all suspicious activities. Awareness is key!
  3. Report suspicious activity to the police – If you see something suspicious or you believe a crime is in progress call 911 immediately. Give the exact location and indicate that you are part of Neighbourhood Watch. Do not personally confront the situation. The non-emergency police number is 416-808-2222.

The Crime Prevention Association of Toronto (CPAT) receives regular reports regarding break and enters and street crimes. This information is then passed on to residents involved in the Neighbourhood Watch Program via e-mail. It includes a description of the event, suspect(s) involved and vehicles.

Crime alerts, bulletins and prevention information are often sent to residents via e-mail including a quarterly newsletter with helpful tips on crime prevention.

The more we communicate within our neighbourhood, the more involved our neighbours will be. We can design the program to suit the needs of our particular community. It is really up to our imaginations. The BTRA would like to work with the community and CPAT to re-establish the Neighbourhood Watch Program in the Beach Triangle community. If you are available to assist with this project please register with David Windrim at 416-699-4419 or so that we can organize a community meeting to begin the process.

(The Neighbourhood Watch brochure can be viewed at