(CNS): Residents in various communities around West Bay have been coming together to reignite existing neighbourhood watches and launch brand new ones, the RCIPS said Monday. Community police officers in the area said they were pleased to report that two new watches had been formed in recent weeks in areas that have never had a group before, bringing the district total to eight active community watches across the district’s policing beats.
“Things are heading in the right direction, and we are now seeing the results of our outreach efforts throughout the year,” said PS Laing-Hall, the Community Policing sergeant for Sector 3 and Beats 9-12.
Explaining how his team got the residents engaged in the crime fight, he said, “We started by going door-to-door in different areas, introducing ourselves and asking if people wanted to join our WhatsApp groups for notifications. Most people did want to be in these groups, and after some period of being in communication, people saw the benefit of sharing information this way with neighbours and police and wanted to start a watch.”
A new neighbourhood watch was inaugurated last weekend in Suellis Estates, which is an area of Beat 12 in West Bay, which has never had a neighbourhood watch before. Beat officers PC Leslie Franklin and AC Andrew Grant attended the meeting along with other CPD officers.
“The fact is that regular police interaction is critical to the activity of these groups; without it people don’t receive the regular updates and police information specific to their area that they want, and often lose interest,” PS Laing-Hall said. “Before the re-invigoration of community policing in early 2018, a number of watches across the district were dormant. CPD officers facilitated the reactivation of those throughout the year, and have also worked hard to add new ones.”
On Saturday, 15 December, CPD officers also attended the initial meeting of a neighbourhood watch in the Ebanks Road area of West Bay following the opening of the Leo Ebanks Children’s Playground. PC Eugene Myles, Beat Officer for Beat 11, initiated the watch and will be progressing its development in the Ebanks Road area. He asks that anyone interested in joining this watch please contact him directly or at the West Bay Police Station at 949-3999.
Anyone who is interested in starting a neighbourhood watch anywhere throughout the islands should contact their local police station or beat officer.