THE Block Watch Society of BC has embarked on a program to encourage its Block Captains and resident participants to consider calling Crime Stoppers with any reports of criminal activity.
Anyone spotting suspicious or criminal activity is always encouraged to call police first, and in the case of a crime in progress they should call 9-1-1. However, Block Watch has now partnered with Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and has added information in its training manual and on its website about how to make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers should a Block Watch resident have concerns about reporting a crime directly to police.
“Neighbours in a Block Watch program might find themselves uneasy about calling police if the crime involves a neighbour for example, or someone else who might be able to identify them,” says Linda Annis, Executive Director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers. “Block Watch is now actively encouraging Block Captains and neighbours to consider an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers. Like all tips we get, any information given to Crime Stoppers by a Block Watch member will be passed on to the relevant police authority while the tipster remains totally anonymous. This way, any Block Watch neighbour spotting something doesn’t need to second guess whether or not it’s safe to report it.”
“We’re proud to be able to offer something that allows our Block Watch members to report a crime without any fear of reprisal,” says Regan Borisenko, President of the Block Watch Society of BC. “We know how effective Crime Stoppers is in successfully soliciting information anonymously that otherwise might not come to light. We still encourage our members to call police in most cases, but in situations where they might have doubts about their personal safety, our training will make sure they know they have our support if they want to call Crime Stoppers instead.”