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Most recent update: 2017-Feb-10

About

Neighbourhood Protect is a free web-based Neighbourhood Watch program designed to reduce the threat of crime to neighbours and property. This program encourages all residents to be alert to suspicious persons or vehicles and to notify each other quickly via web-based tools. The more people that use this website, the more neighbours there are looking out for each other.

If a person becomes the victim of a property crime they can post it on this website which will then notify their neighbours. Sometimes more than one home or vehicle can be targeted by criminals. Neighbours with security cameras can then check their video to see if a suspicious person/vehicle was recorded and notify police to aid in their investigation. Posting images from a video to this website will help neighbours be on the alert if the criminal(s) returns.

Traditional Neighbourhood Watch programs require canvassing, sign-up sheets and regular meetings. Given most peoples' busy work and family schedules, a manual process is not always practical or possible. This Neighbourhood Protect website automates that process by having members refer their neighbours, friends and family thereby simplifying the sign-up process.

Futher automation is accomplished by having crime and suspicious activity entered by the observer with automatic notifications sent to their neighbours. Neighbours are always kept up to date and can get involved when something is reported.

Sharing information quickly amongst neighbours and police is beneficial for an effective neighbourhood watch. The old manual methods might be too slow. Although facebook and Wordpress blogs can provide some simple automation, these accounts just become silos of information that must be manually tracked and reviewed by the police. An application specific website such as this offers superior search tools for investigators over generic social media websites.

This is a web-based tool and as such is not locked into a particular city or neighbourhood. Any neighbourhood in any city can take advantage of this free application. Since some criminals travel by car they can easily affect more than one neighbourhood. It would be beneficial then to have other neighbourhoods use this website as well to help share information across a greater area. The more neighbourhoods that share information the easier it is to identify the same criminals and have the police be alerted to this crime trend. This tool would then provide one location where the police can review any and all neighbourhoods, create statistics and summaries and receive automatic notifications.

If you are interested in neighbourhood safety and/or would like to start your own neighbourhood watch please feel free to sign up. If you are already a member and see value in this neighbourhood watch website then share this link with your family, friends and other neighbours.

This website went live on July 23, 2016 in the Durham Region. The ultimate goal of this website is to help make neighbourhoods safer and to aid police in any of their invesitgations.

Cities serviced: newcastle; bowmanville; clarington; newcastle; courtice; oshawa; whitby; ajax; pickering; brooklin; port perry; uxbridge; gta; toronto, scarborough; york region, richmond hill, keswick; peel region, mississauga, oakville, hamilton

Local Police News
DRPS - Media Release
Police Neighbourhood Watch Training Videos

Neighbourhood watch training videos on what to do and how to better protect yourself.

Training Video - Part I
Training Video - Part II
Training Video - Part III
Training Video - Part IV

Functionality

This website is a tool specific to supporting neighbourhood watch programs by:

Background

Why was this website built? In June 2016 my wife noticed a neighbour's car door ajar. I asked my neighbour about it and he said that his car was entered and some property taken overnight. Had I not asked him about this he likely would have not mentioned it. I then checked with a neighbour with video cameras if they caught anything. We reveiwed his video and saw a male going from car to car on our street checking door handles.

I then checked with a few more neighbours. One neighbour stated that although his car was not entered overnight, several months ago the same thing happened and at that time his car was entered and property taken. He had never mentioned this before in previous conversations with him. Some other neighbours mentioned their cars being entered months ago too.

I spoke to a few more neighbours and found another one with cameras. He was not aware of any car entries but checked his cameras anyway. He found that there were actually two males checking out cars with one male going down one street while the other came down my street. Had I not spoken with this neighbour none of us would have known about the second guy.

What I observed from this is a lack of communication amongst my neighbours. We often talk about the weather or some landscaping ideas but never about neighbourhood safety. We needed an easy and convenient way to look out for each other and communicate any issues to each other. A website seemed like the best modern way to do this.