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Block Watch : Start a Block Watch | Information for Captains | Block Watch FAQs

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Block Watch

block watch logoBlock Watch is all about neighbours helping neighbours. Households, apartments or condominiums on a block form a communication chain aided by a map of names, telephone numbers and addresses. Participants watch out for each others' homes and report suspicious activities to the police and each other. This communication is crucial in reducing the likelihood of residential crime.

The Block Watch program was initiated in Seattle in 1974, with participating homes seeing a decrease in residential break-ins of between 48-62%. Surrey was the first municipality in B.C. to start a Block Watch program, which has now spread the length of the Lower Mainland and through several communities across the Province.

Don't sit back – be proactive, and take part in your community. A break and enter can be prevented if criminals know there are watchful neighbours. Get involved with Block Watch now, before you have been a victim of a break and enter.

 

Watch Krenz on Krime as Cst. Dave Krenz gives tips
on preventing crime in your neighbourhood

Block Watch in Vancouver

The Vancouver Block Watch program started in 1989, and is managed and maintained by an civilian coordinator and one police officer. The current officer assigned is Cst. Dave Krenz.

In 2009, Block Watch celebrated its 20th year as a VPD community-based crime prevention program. The program currently has over 600 participating groups, including 1,100 captains and co-captains, monitoring the individual neighbourhood Block Watch programs. Including all of the participating households that each team has recruited, that's an additional 15,600 extra pairs of trained eyes and ears reporting suspicious activity!

Why Join or Start a Block Watch Team?

  • direct access to a police officer to assist with your neighbourhood crime and nuisance issues
  • opportunity to invite a police officer to do a security assessment walk-about in your neighbourhood and/or complex
  • participate in specialized training to recognize the profile, body language and other identifiers that enable you to confidently identify and report suspicious behaviour to police
  • learn what a property crime thief will say to you if they have just scoped your home or condo and what to do when they leave
  • learn techniques to make your house, condo or townhouse less noticeable to a property crime thief
  • receive information to make informed decisions about selecting security hardware for your exterior doors
  • connect with your neighbours by e-mail so you can share information about suspicious, nuisance or criminal activity in your neighbourhood so you can look out for each other
  • receive weekly crime statistics detailing property crime incidents by block, dates and times so you know what is happening around you and you can proactively protect yourself, your family and your neighbours
  • receive on going crime prevention tips and training that are based on current issues

To support your team's crime prevention efforts, you will also receive the following tools:

Success Stories

The success stories below are in PDF format.

  • "I was walking my dog and noticed a bunch of smoke coming from the jungle gym in the park...." More
  • "... thwarted a thief, most importantly without endangering herself...." More
  • "Blockwatch special alert. Observant member witnesses a property crime suspect in action and calls police...." More
  • "Note of appreciation...." More
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Message from Chief Constable Jim Chu

View Chief Constable Jim Chu's video message to thank Block Watch volunteers.

Want to Start a Block Watch?

If you're interested in starting a Block Watch in your neighbourhood, here's where to start.

How Do They Do It?

Watch how property crime thieves break into your home:

Contact the VPD Block Watch Team

Leah Kelsey &  Dave Krenz

Contact Leah Marlay, Block Watch Coordinator or Cst. Dave Krenz, Block Watch Investigations & Training Officer at:

Site Address
2120 Cambie Street
Vancouver, B.C.
V5Z 4N6

Tel: (604) 717-2857
Email: blockwatch@vpd.ca
Fax: (604) 665-3952

Captain & Co-Captain Training

For the next training session for Captains and Co-Captains, see Information for Captains.

Neighbourhood Crime Alert Service

Sign up for the VPD's Neighbourhood Crime Alert Service and receive crime alerts and crime prevention tips by email for any Vancouver postal code.

Community Policing

Vancouver Community Policing

Community Policing Centres

Wait for the Gate

Watch a video of what can happen if you don't wait for a security gate to close.

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