Cops shift focus to Block Watch in Nanaimo

New signs installed in neighbourhoods around Nanaimo are helping the Block Watch program make its mark across the city.

Const. Gary O’Brien compares old Neighbourhood Watch signs that have been replaced with new Block Watch signs in Nanaimo Neighbourhoods. The new signs signify the RCMP’s shift in focus to the Block Watch program.

Const. Gary O’Brien compares old Neighbourhood Watch signs that have been replaced with new Block Watch signs in Nanaimo Neighbourhoods. The new signs signify the RCMP’s shift in focus to the Block Watch program.

New signs installed in neighbourhoods around Nanaimo are helping the Block Watch program make its mark across the city.

The new signs are replacing old Neighbourhood Watch signs and the program.

“The Neighbourhood Watch program is defunct,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “The RCMP has no contact with them, we don’t know who’s involved and we are moving forward with the Block Watch program.”

There are 17 blocks already organized and more are being set up weekly, O’Brien said.

Most neighbourhoods become organized under the program in response to crime, such as break and enters and vandalism.

New Block Watch signs are being bolted up on the old Neighbourhood Watch sign posts – there are 143 across the city – as new blocks are organized. Using the old Neighbourhood Watch poles saves money.

O’Brien said 51 people recently turned out to organize under the crime prevention program in the Brechin Road area in response to crime there and more neighbourhood groups are signing up.

“It’s different issues for all the different communities,” O’Brien said.

More information about Block Watch and other city sponsored crime prevention programs is available on the City of Nanaimo website at www.nanaimo.ca or call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

Nanaimo News Bulletin