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Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch (also known as Block Watch and Community Watch) is a program designed to reduce the threat of crime to neighbours and property. This program encourages all residents to be alert to suspicious persons or vehicles and to notify each other quickly via web-based tools. The more people that are members, the more neighbours there are looking out for each other.

Neighbourhood Protect

Neighbourhood Protect is a free web-based administration and communication tool for neighbourhood watches in Canada. All posts on the website are anonymous.

Unlike some social media groups that are closed and prevent the sharing of information amongst other neighbourhoods and police, Neighbourhood Protect expands on the idea of neighbourhood watch by joining multiple neighbourhood watches together through one central database. Just as it is beneficial for neighbours to join a neighbourhood watch, it is also beneficial for individual neighbourhood watches to join together to form a larger regional watch since some criminals travel by bike or car and can affect more than one neighbourhood or city.

Neighbourhood watches that don`t share information with the police are only half as effective. Social media neighbourhood watches tend to have a lot of opinion posts and general community posts which distract and clutter the crime posts. Police do not have the time to read through dozens of posts to find the meaningful ones. Neigbourhood Protect eliminates this clutter and streamlines the data for the police.

Simplified captain involvement:

Neighbourhood Protect requires very little effort on the part of its members; just look out for each other`s property and report a possible crime and let your immediate neighbours know about your neighbourhood watch. There is no patrolling, big canvassing, time consuming meetings etc. This is to make your life safer and easier, not more complicated.

Houses vs Apartments/Condos

House owners would benefit most from neighbhourhood watch. They can install security cameras, share images, and likely other house owners in the area could be affected by the same perpetrator. Apartment/condo residents do not have their own security cameras; that is usually handled by the building management, and they typically do not share video images with tenants. It would be best for building management to join. If you live in an area with higher street crimes such as robberies, firearms and drugs, then being part of a neighbourhood watch could still be beneficial. Smartphone photos can still be uploaded and shared.


No matter where you live, see what`s happening in your neighbourhood with crime data provided by your local police service. Neighbourhood Protect integrates seamlessly with all police service crime maps regardless of which technology they use.

Neighbourhood Protect provides real-time crime information by:

  1. The above mentioned police crime maps
  2. Live Twitter/RSS feeds from your local police
  3. Instant email/text notifications from member postings

This website is a tool specific to supporting neighbourhood watch programs by:

For Residents:

For Investigators:

Often crimes occur despite our best efforts to prevent them. Helping solve these crimes then becomes one of the main priorities to neighbourhood watch. Social media is just a large collection of blobs of text that must be manually searched through by investigators, making it potentially difficult for investigators and increasing the possibility of missing something important. Neighbourhood Protect has actual search tools for investigators to quickly and easily search for specific information and across many neighbourhoods, cities and regions thereby increasing the likelihood of solving a crime.

Note: This is not your police service`s official crime reporting tool. To report a crime, you must always contact your police service directly through one of their official contacts such as 9-1-1, or their non-emergency phone# or if they have on-line reporting, on their website. Neighbourhood Protect is strictly a search tool that the police can optionally use to help in their investigations; there is no guarantee that they will use this website for every crime reported.

What Size Should A Neighbourhood Watch Be?

Regardless of which NW scheme you choose, boundary size should still be the same. The ideal size is the area that you would walk if you were to physically canvas your neighbours to join. This would be somewhere around 100 to 300 houses. This is a suggestion only. Smaller communities may choose to have one neighbourhood watch for the entire town to get enough people to participate.

Before the Internet, neighbourhood watches consisted of just your immediate neighbours, within a few blocks of each other (hence the term Block Captain). Most neighbours knew each other. If a crime happened to one of them, the rest lived close enough to likely have seen something. They had meetings on a regular basis with the police where only crime information was shared. Today, with social media, these groups have ballooned into often very large groups into the thousands, sometime exceeding 10,000 members. These types of groups rarely have members who know each other and their posts often include general community issues such as where to find a good plumber, landscaper, places to dine, dog walking etc. These extra posts usually prevent the police from joining these groups therefore any crime posts are more likely to not be shared with them. Neighbourhood Protect strives to maintain smaller groups and to make it easier to share information with the police.

Why is NW size so important?

What Is Expected Of A Member?

Every member:

Optionally, proactive members:

Cities serviced: newcastle; bowmanville; clarington; newcastle; courtice; oshawa; whitby; ajax; pickering; brooklin; port perry; uxbridge; gta; toronto, scarborough; york region, richmond hill, keswick; peel region, mississauga, oakville, hamilton, vancouver, calgary, edmonton, regina

Improving Neighbourhood Watch Through Automation