Citizens' Crime Watch
What is Citizens' Crime Watch?
In 1986, the Vancouver Police Department formed the Citizens’ Crime Watch (CCW) program, where citizens volunteer their time to provide the police with extra eyes and ears on Vancouver streets on Friday and Saturday nights between 7:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. CCW members patrol as a team of two using their own vehicle.
"With each day I have been out volunteering for the CCW, I am having a better grasp of policing standards in Canada and feel more associated with this kind of work. My role might be too little in the entire effort, but eventually it gives me a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment for something positive that I am doing for our society."
How Does It Operate?
CCW volunteers are trained and coordinated by a police constable who will work with the volunteers as they patrol the streets of Vancouver. Each car is supplied with an iCom radio so that they are in constant contact with their own base radio operator and the coordinator.
Volunteers observe the activity around them and call in to report any criminal or suspicious activity. Members may be asked to pay special attention to neighbourhoods that are experiencing a rash of vandalism, arson or theft from auto crimes. Since 1994, CCW has recovered over 4,000 stolen vehicles.
The coordinator will respond to any situation the volunteers observe that requires the attention of police, such as an assault, purse snatching or theft from auto in progress. Volunteers DO NOT get actively involved with situations.
Geographical assignments are based on crime analysis information and projections combined with requests from various police units.
Today there are over 100 adult CCW volunteer members from all age groups and from all walks of life, who make a positive contribution to fighting crime in our community.
Volunteers achieve a great sense of accomplishment with the knowledge that they are making a difference in the fight against crime in their community and making their neighbourhoods safer. They meet people with similar values and community spirit who enjoy working in a team-oriented environment. Their volunteer work is interesting, unique and different from their usual workday activities. They learn about the role of law enforcement in Canadian society and also have the opportunity to attend special seminars related to their CCW volunteer activities.
Individuals who meet our selection criteria may be invited to an interview. This selection process will determine a candidate's suitability to our program.