A way to prevent crime

The Cayman Islands that we grew up in was a safe, happy and wonderful, carefree place to raise a family and it still is, but lately something dark and sinister has been encroaching on our lovely idyllic bit of Paradise and once it starts, it strikes swiftly and constantly.

We have to eradicate it and now! Crime is not something that is absolutely inevitable; we should not desensitise ourselves to its existence. In fact, most of us are upset that we’ve allowed the encroachment of crime to continue for so long.

Although we’re upset, depressed, frustrated and angry about the recent increase of crime in Cayman, feeling powerless and doing nothing doesn’t help. Let’s add ‘determination to prevent crime’ to these emotions. There is a way that we can all help to decrease and prevent crime.

The Neighbourhood Watch Programme.

The prevention of crime is a responsibility that must be shared equally by police services and private citizens. The fact is, the impact on crime prevention by police services alone is minimal.

Neighbourhood Watch is based on the concept of cooperation and statistics prove that it works. When citizens take positive steps to secure their own property and neighbours learn how to report suspicious activity around their homes, breaks-and-enters and related offenses decrease dramatically.

It is a fact of life that relationships in many of today’s communities have become less personal than they were years ago. Families are more transient, children have more activities that take them and their parents away from home and there are more families with both parents working..

Neighbourhood Watch is hardly a new idea; in fact, it is based on one of the oldest and simplest concepts known to humans – neighbours helping neighbours. And when neighbours get together and cooperate with Police Services, crime can be reduced. Numerous convicted criminals have admitted that they are simply not prepared to take the added risk of working in Neighbourhood Watch-protected communities.

Very few people are in a position to protect their homes and properties all the time. The Neighbourhood Watch programme provides a sense of security for individuals or families who leave their homes for any length of time. The programme will also help to coordinate the efforts of the police and the community in tracking down criminals. Strong community involvement is encouraged because neighbourhood unity can deter crime that threatens residents’ peace and safety.

Psychologically, the Neighbourhood Watch programme works because people have positive support around them constantly, they don’t feel alone. Young people, particularly, need constant positive encouragement, and when they see neighbours and communities helping each other they feel secure and less likely to go looking for negative attention.

So now that you know you can prevent crime, organise a Neighbourhood Watch Programme in your area and encourage your friends and family to do so as well. For more information, contact the Royal Cayman Islands Police Neighbourhood Policing Department and feel free to email me if you want to start a Neighbourhood Watch programme at [email protected].

Laura Egglishaw

Coordinator – Neighbourhood Watch Programme for Parkway Drive, George Town

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