Building Safer Communities Block Watch

Successfully building trust between neighbourhoods and the police and decreasing crime statistics.
Calgary, Canada
Projects of Good Work Award
Winner (2017)
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In north-central Calgary in Alberta, Canada, community representatives led by Tavis Settles who were concerned about crime and lack of any community spirit, set up a Block Watch program with a difference. Using Facebook, they created a means for neighbours on the same street to be in touch with each other. The project was also connected to a larger community association and to the police. Neighbours can send out an alert about a crime incident, and the process also works well for finding lost pets and for addressing children who are misbehaving. The project has built trust between neighbourhoods and the police. Crime statistics are way down. The police caught a repeat car prowler in other neighbourhoods in only 15 minutes when he entered the neighbourhood protected by this Block Watch program. The project is run completely by volunteers and has resulted in people meeting and socializing together and with children playing together on the street. Discussions are underway with provincial authorities to consider making it a provincial-wide program.