WINCHESTER, Ontario – The Stormont Dundas and Glengarry Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police is excited to announce the commencement of a Community Watch program in Winchester, Ontario. The local residents recently formed a group in partnership with their local OPP Detachment.
The concept of Community Watch has existed for hundreds of years. Originally, townspeople would grab a lantern and walk various business districts to prevent crime. Their presence was obvious and served as a deterrent to those looking to commit crimes.
Over the years, the program evolved into neighbours meeting to discuss community issues, learning crime prevention techniques and sharing information. Neighbours working together to maintain an awareness of the activities that surrounds them and to report crime as it occurs.
The seeds for community mobilization in support of crime prevention and community safety had gradually been planted.
The Community Watch Program has recently evolved into a variety of problem-oriented Watch programs that are community-driven and police supported. In partnership with local police, community members may learn how to make their homes and businesses less inviting for opportunistic criminals, how to participate in other crime prevention programs and how to recognize and safely report any suspicious activity in their respective neighbourhoods.
Though it is a community’s needs which determine what or all programs that are required, it is the community-driven support that remains critical for program sustainability and overall success of each program implemented. There must also always be an adequate number of community volunteers that agree to form a Community Watch Committee.
Strong individual, community, and police support is what enables a Community Watch program to be effective and by working together, we may all work towards our OPP Vision of ‘safe communities…a secure Ontario’.
The local group is led by watch Chairperson Stephanie Seaver and is eager to add more members. If you are interested in joining their group or starting your own within another North Dundas Village, please reach out to Stephanie at email@example.com.