Categorized | National News

Southwestern Division Hosts Crime Watch Symposium

Officers from the Southwestern Division held their first Crime Watch Symposium over the weekend where residents were allowed the opportunity to liaise with the police, get crime prevention tips and learn how to establish crime watch associations in their various communities.

Officer-in-Charge of the Southwestern Division, Superintendent Wayne Miller, said the symposium was the first of its kind for the division.

“It is very important that crime watch associations come together under one umbrella to make sure that we articulate a vision going forward particularly as the police commissioner has indicated in his policing plan the need of a partnership with communities,” he said.

“We need to do that to make communities safer. We are moving assiduously in our area to get as many crime watch groups formed as possible because we know the police alone cannot do it. The residents that live in those areas are the ones that provide the constant eyes and ears for us and assist us greatly. We need them as our community consultants.”

Superintendent Miller said residents can provide officers with details on how crimes are being perpetrated so that they can do their jobs more effectively.

“I would say the crime watch groups have been a real help because we have noticed where there is a vibrant crime watch group, the incidences particularly of house break-ins, have been reduced and that is saying something to us,” he said.

“In the United States, there are a number of crime watch groups and that is even something we are looking to implement in our schools. We have to now start training our children to take more responsibility. We are a bit reactive as a society but the reality is that the police can be more effective if we get more people engaged in their fight against crime.”

President of Emerald Gardens Crime Watch Association, Dr. Isaiah Hepburn said his crime watch association is new, which is why they chose to participate in the symposium.

“Last year, we had a few break-ins,” he said. “This year we haven’t had any, so there have really been no incidences of criminal activity in this area. It’s ideal that the police are putting on this symposium in that if we are to enjoy peace and tranquility then we need to do so in a collective spirit of safety.”

“The symposium was designed to look and focus on how we can move forward in developing the area and making sure we are all safe. If communities are involved then we are in the position where we can effectively secure our homes and surroundings.”

President of Silver Gates Crime Watch Association, Lashon Sawyer agreed.

“When you know your neighbours that is prevention to crime because when people walk through the area it is easy to pick out faces that aren’t familiar,” she said.

“We do have patrols and we have had situations where we know there were negative things happening and we gave police tips about those things. You have to be careful with patrolling today but we have hand-held radios and that’s how we communicate with each other. It is good to be in partnership with the police, when you call they know who you are and they know the neighbourhood and that is good for crime prevention.”

Sasha Lightbourne

Written by Sasha Lightbourne

Journal Staff Writer

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