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

Chinese Translation (中文)

Start a Block Watch

Follow these easy steps to start a Block Watch in your neighbourhood:

1. Select one Block Captain and one Co-Captain

Select a Captain and Co-Captain. Each Captain and Co-Captain must submit an application and be deemed a suitable candidate by passing a free background check (included in the application at no charge).

Generally, the Captain is the primary contact.

You determine the structure that suits your group, i.e. you can have two Captains or two Co-Captains, or as many Captains and Co-Captains as you feel is appropriate for your group. If you are unable to identify a second person to Co-Captain, please contact the Block Watch office.

2. Build Your Group

Start your Block Watch with the street(s) that the Captain(s) and Co-Captain(s) live on. Work towards getting commitments to participate in Block Watch from at least 10 households on the block you live on or complex you live in. Recruit the homes on your alley side, facing your front door and the ends of the next block. If you cannot meet the 10-household minimum, please contact (604) 717-2857.

For condominiums with more than one complex, it is suggested that you recruit a Captain and/or Co-Captain for each site. If you are living in a strata property, notify your council that you are initiating a Block Watch. If you are in a rental, inform the building manager about your Block Watch group.

To avoid inviting problem premises onto your group, first invite the households who you know and trust. You can then ask those group members to refer you to households they know and trust, and so on.

The Start Up Kit includes a “New VPD Block Watch Group Participant List” to gather the names and contact information of neighbours who want to participate. Explain that their information is used to form a “communication chain” between group members, enabling you to share information about suspicious, criminal and other relevant activity so everyone knows what is going on in the area/neighbourhood.

You will also need to identify ways to communicate with members who do not have access to computers or e-mail.

3. Mail or Drop-Off Completed Application Package and Copy of Identification

Mail or drop off the application package to the address on the application. Original signatures are required - no faxes or e-mails.

4. Captain(s) and Co-Captain(s) Attend a Training Session

Once background checks are successfully completed, Captains and Co-Captains are required to attend a training session held at 2120 Cambie Street, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., on a Saturday.

Participants are also welcome to attend the full four-hour training session, but they must complete an application and background clearance. Otherwise, training is provided as outlined in #5 below.

5. Arrange Your First Annual Block Watch Group Meeting/Training Session

After the Captain/Co-Captain training session, you will be contacted to arrange your first annual Block Watch group meeting/training session. It is to be held on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening, in your neighbourhood. You will be provided with Block Watch supplies for each participating household. The Block Watch Investigations & Training Officer will conduct the training.

This meeting/training session gives your group an opportunity to get to know one another, learn to identify and report criminal activity, discuss common neighbourhood concerns, set up your communication chain, and meet and ask questions of the Block Watch police officer you will be liaising with.

6. Complete the Activation of Your Group

Following your first meeting, you will need to complete and submit your first annual group map/participant list to the Block Watch office to complete the activation of your Block Watch. Once the map/list is submitted, your group will then be provided with two Block Watch street signs and the activation is complete.

Join or Start a Block Watch

To join or start a Block Watch in your neighbourhood or complex, please contact Leah Marlay with the mailing address of the proposed Block Watch:

  • Email or
  • (604) 717-2857

Block Watch Captain and Co-Captain training sessions are held Saturdays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at VPD headquarters at 2120 Cambie Street.

Next training date:

  • Saturday, September 6th

To attend, applications must be received prior to:

  • Thursday, August 28th

Classes fill up quickly. Email Leah to reserve your seat now.

New Block Watch Start-Up Kits

Start-Up Kits can be mailed or picked up.

Contents include:

  • steps to activate the Block Watch
  • two Captain/Co-Captain applications
  • one block profile (Block Watch area coverage)
  • ten invitations for your neighbours
  • ten Block Watch brochures
  • sample weekly crime statistics
  • sample 30-day residential break-and-enter map

At your request, kits can be customized to include multilingual materials or additional supplies.

We look forward to working with you!

Krenz on Crime


Watch Block Watch Cst. Dave Krenz talk about why you should start a Block Watch in your neighbourhood.