FAQ

FAQWhat is Neighbourhood Watch?

Neighbourhood Watch is a citizen volunteer organization that assists the police by being the eyes and ears of the community. It is a proven fact that in areas where Neighbourhood Watch is set up, is a substantial reduction in crime such as theft, break and enter, and willful damage like vandalism.

Why do you need Neighbourhood Watch?

The achievement of the Neighbourhood Watch goals is best served by the active participation of citizens in this organization. Your security depends upon you and your neighbours. No police service can effectively protect life and property without the support of the citizens it serves.

What would my involvement be?

Your commitment would be minimal. You simply become more aware of what is happening in your neighbourhood; and if you would observe a crime occurring just contact the police.

We need your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. This is confidential information and will not be given out to anyone. However, this information is entered into our database for the automatic dialing system that is located at the Neighbourhood Watch office of the Waterloo Regional Police Service / North Division.

How would I know what to look for?

After a neighbourhood comes together to form a Neighbourhood Watch group, your Watch Captain will contact us, and we will set up an important information meeting. A Board member will show you how to identify suspicious activity, how to contact the police effectively, and what happens when you call the police. Furthermore, we will show you, how to crime proof your home, how to identify a suspect, and what our automatic dialer does for you.

What about the automatic dialing system?

The Neighbourhood Watch Alert Dialer is a computer program that allows the Neighbourhood Watch office to deliver phone messages to all members. These messages will advise members of crime occurring in their particular area and it provides them with crime prevention tips to protect themselves better.

Twice a day we review police incident reports and, if there is a specific crime trend developing in an area or if there have been any incidents that have happened where the public needs to protect themselves, we send out a recorded voice message on our automatic dialer system. However, only Neighbourhood Watch members are contacted!

Is being part of this organization going to cost me anything?

We propose that Neighbourhood Watch signs be posted. The new Neighbourhood Watch Community wants to let everyone know that this community is part of the Neighbourhood Watch organization. The cost of these signs is shared by all the members of the new neighbourhood watch group and is a one-time only expense, usually a few dollars per person. The only other cost would be whatever you choose to do to crime proof your home, for example, better locks, lighting, and bars on your basement windows.

Ok, I would like to a part in this group! What now?

First, without a Watch Captain in your area there cannot be a Neighbourhood Watch group. To become a Watch Captain our requirements are minimal, and are designed to provide a contact person in the community, as well as a contact person for Neighbourhood Watch.

The person seeking membership in our organization is encouraged to organize a Watch Group in their neighbourhood. We recommend organizing a minimum of one block including both sides of their street. We also recommend raising interest for membership at the groups left and right side streets including the streets behind this new respective group.

To become a Watch Captain, contact our office to arrange a police check at no cost to the new Watch Captain Candidate.

After the Administrator accepts the ‘Record Check’, the Watch Captain completes and signs a confidentiality form certifying that he will keep the information he collected confidential. He then will receive his name tag that identifies the Watch Captain and that he/she is authorized by the Neighbourhood Watch office to collect confidential information as required for our records.

The approval or rejection will be at the discretion of the Neighbourhood Watch Organization and its Administrator.

The Board of Directors reserves the right to review, approve, or reject any Watch Captain application and the right to review and withdraw any Watch Captain position as deemed appropriate.

Who Is Eligible To Be A Member?

Any resident living within the boundaries of the Waterloo Region requesting membership in the organization is eligible for membership. Participants will be entered in the Database of the Neighbourhood Watch Alert Dialer System located in the Neighbourhood Watch office of the North Division. All community members are expected to be more aware of what is happening in their neighbourhood and are asked to observe and report any suspicious activity to the police.

What Is A “Watch Captain”?

Any resident living in the boundaries of the Waterloo Region and requesting membership in the organization is eligible for membership. The achievement of the goals of Neighbourhood Watch is best served by the active participation of citizens in this organization. The value of a caring community is lost until a watch captain is found and willing to organize their community as a Neighbourhood Watch group.

  • The person seeking membership in our organization is encouraged to organize a Neighbourhood Watch group within the boundaries of their choice.
  • We do recommend a minimum of one block. However, both sides of their street should be included.
  • It is our recommendation to raise interest for membership at the group’s left and right hand side streets and possibly include the street behind this new perspective group.
  • The person willing to organize the new group will be the designated watch captain for their group.
  • Each candidate for the position of the Neighbourhood Watch captain must be at least 18 years old and willing to have a police and a criminal record check conducted a no cost to them.
  • Contact the Waterloo Regional Neighbourhood Watch office at 650-8500 ext. 6390 to make the necessary arrangements.

Conditions for acceptance of the watch captain candidate are:

  • As a condition for acceptance as a watch captain the candidate must have the trust and cooperation of their community.
  • The candidate must complete a police check at no cost to him or her.
  • After the return of the record checks, the candidate must complete all the required Neighbourhood Watch application forms.
  • Any approval or rejection will be at the discretion of the Neighbourhood Watch organization and its administrator.
  • The board of directors reserves the right to review any watch captain position.