Residents of Angle Ridge Drive in the Beach Bay area of Bodden Town launched their Neighbourhood Watch at the weekend – the 18th to be set up in the district since 2015.
More than 20 people showed up for the group’s first meeting with community police officers at the home of Deanna Frederick, leader of the Angle Ridge Watch group.
She started the group with a few people on her stretch of road after her home was broken into. She knocked on doors, got numbers and names, and left notes for people to contact her about forming the group. Eventually, it grew to include the whole area, and then the police got on board.
“Ever since that, we’re been keeping an eye out for everybody and getting to know people in the neighbourhood,” Frederick said.
Sergeant Cornelius Pompey cautioned the residents that forming a Neighbourhood Watch does not mean that crime would not occur.
“Neighbourhood Watch reduces the fear of crime and it reduces crime, but it doesn’t mean that crime is gone,” he said.
He also advised them to make effective use of WhatsApp messaging when fighting crime in the area, but added, “Let your communication be for the sole purpose for what it was intended. Otherwise, Angle Ridge, you are going to lose.”
He also highlighted a number of security gadgets residents could use to protect their homes and self.
For example, he told them of a light bulb with a WiFi panoramic camera inside that could be easily installed, as well as door alarms, walking alarms and a marking pen for valuables which could only be detected with a special light carried by police officers.
Pompey said police were staging a ‘Crime Prevention’ session in the Bodden Town community in the coming weeks. Also, they were working on having Neighbourhood Watch members come together to assist each other when they needed help.
Pompey was joined by Community Officers PC Clifford Garcia and PC Dennis Pascal.
Tony Scott, a Neighbourhood Watch ambassador, said he wanted police to publicise speeding convictions so it could be a deterrent to other speeders. Officer Garcia said they would follow up on that.
Officer Pascal, a new officer in the community beat, said among the benefits of a Neighbourhood Watch are a reduction in crime, a greater sense of security and community, and an extra pair of “eyes and ears” for law enforcement.
To maintain the group, he told residents to share information, create Neighbourhood Watch reports and keep people updated. He also advised residents to create exercise or walking groups and hold garage sales and use money to purchase signs, radios, vests and other needs.
Bodden Town East MLA Chris Saunders, who attended the meeting, assured residents there would be no change of name for Beach Bay Road.
One of the things he said he was pushing for in the area was new speed bumps and streetlights in certain dark areas.
To set up a Neighbourhood Watch with police, interested people can contact the Bodden Town Police Station and speak with any community beat officer.