Over the last year, I have heard multiple times from residents about the need for safety and security in our community. I believe that help always lies at the end of your hand, and in the community, it is next to your door, which is your neighbour.

Neighbours are often the first responders in any emergency and have the best insight into everything that goes on in the community, which makes them the most qualified people to monitor their local area for any crime and suspicious activities. When we formalize these collaborations between neighbours, we see the birth of Neighbourhood Watch.

In Mississauga, each Neighbourhood Watch is certified by Safe City. The certification process includes several steps, such as a minimum neighbour’s participation and a CPTED (crime prevention through environmental design) audit. Currently, Safe City Mississauga has 300 to 350 Neighbourhood Watches, including its first-ever in Malton at Keenan Crescent.

The Keenan Crescent watch was led by Jas Sohal, who has lived in Malton for over four decades. Jas says when she was growing up, the whole neighbourhood was considered family, leaving no concern for safety and security. She told me her dream is to have her kids growing up in the same environment.

According to the 2015 evaluation of Safe City Mississauga’s Neighbourhood Watch program, the program has been proven to be an effective crime prevention tool. It has led to up to a 61-per-cent reduction in residential police-reported property crimes. In addition, a 2015 Return on Investment study on Mississauga’s Neighbourhood Watch Program estimated almost $1.7 million in property crime prevention, while saving taxpayers more than three times their initial investment and operating costs over a four-year period. It is very clear that Neighbourhood Watch results in safer communities and engaged neighbourhoods.

Harold Kushner once said, “The happiest people I know are people who don’t even think about being happy. They just think about being good neighbours, good people. And then happiness sort of sneaks in the back window while they are busy doing good.”

If you are interested in starting a Neighbourhood Watch in your community, please contact our office and we will be happy to provide the required support. Let’s work together to make Mississauga-Malton safe.