Neighbourhood Watch

The Belvedere Community League participates in Edmonton’s Neighbourhood Watch Program. Become a “knowsy” neighbour!

At the risk of dating myself, I’m old enough to remember a TV show called Bewitched. The show had a long list of characters including the nosey neighbour and resident busybody, Mrs. Kravitz. When she wasn’t peeking out her blinds to watch the goings-on in her neighbourhood, she was butting into other people’s business. While she was an annoying and exaggerated character created for comic relief, she may have been on to something. I’m certainly not advocating for spying on your neighbours or inserting yourself where you don’t belong, but there is something to be said for neighbours who know each other.

The Belvedere neighbourhood is by no means an extremely rampant crime hot spots, but we are not immune to thefts, break-ins, graffiti, other property crimes, encampments etc. Some of it happens at nighttime but some mischief-makers are brazen enough to operate in broad daylight. Whether it’s planned crime (following delivery or work trucks to locations) or crimes of opportunity (rifling through an unlocked car, garage or shed), much of it can be prevented. Locking doors consistently and asking that packages be delivered to depots or asking your neighbour to keep an eye out for the delivery and collect it for you, are great ideas (in fact, the Edmonton Police Service recommends a 9pm routine to ensure everything is locked up), but having eyes and ears in the neighbourhood are also great crime deterrents.

Who are these eyes and ears? They are your neighbours! My name is Stella Carson and as your new Belvedere Community League Director Community Safety and Patrol, as well as your Belvedere Community League Neighbourhood Watch district representative, I’m asking one thing from everyone who reads this: get to know the people who live near you. Don’t be a nosey neighbour, but do become a “knowsy” neighbour. Learn their names, if you feel comfortable exchange phone numbers and if they have kids or pets.

How does one do this? Go next door (both sides of your home) and across the street from your home and introduce yourself to your neighbours. If you’re walking your dog, planting your garden, bike riding or just out and about, introduce yourself to people you encounter. Deliver a card to someone who just moved in. You don’t need to share personal information but letting them know your name, where you live, and who you live with (and learning the same about them) goes a long way in knowing what to expect in your neighbourhood and sensing when something doesn’t feel quite right.

Besides the obvious benefits of having extra eyes and ears in your community, getting to know your neighbours has other advantages – including making new friends, gaining walking buddies, and meeting and getting to know people who live in the great community of Belvedere! So get your Gladys Kravitz on and go meet your neighbours!

Belvedere also has volunteers that are walking in the community and keeping an eye and ear out, both during the day and in the evening to help keep our neighbourhood safe. You can recognize the volunteers by the name tag that they are wearing and in the evening with florescent bands. They are also more than happy to talk with you, ask them questions and just chat. If you would like to join this team, please email me at communitypatrol@belvederecl.com

Shortly, you will see many signs around Belvedere attached to light poles informing everyone that we are a Neighbourhood Watch neighbourhood. We also have stickers available to anyone that would like to place on their property saying that you are part of Neighbourhood Watch, as you being a resident that reports suspicious activities. If you would like a sticker please also email communitypatrol@belvederecl.com

We all want to live in safe communities and awareness and participation are great cornerstones for neighbourhood crime prevention. If you witness a crime please report it MAKE THE CALL or if you are noticing anything else please also call the numbers on the list below. If you have any ideas or questions regarding the Neighbourhood Watch program, I’d love to hear from you.

For More Information or to Volunteer

Please contact communitypatrol@belvederecl.com

Also, join us at the Belvedere Community Watch facebook group.