Crime fighting program starts at three Nanaimo schools

Neighbours will be asked to keep a close eye on what is happening at three Nanaimo schools this fall.

Neighbours will be asked to keep a close eye on what is happening at three Nanaimo schools this fall.

School Watch pilot projects will be implemented at John Barsby Secondary School and Pleasant Valley and McGirr elementary schools.

Trustee Jamie Brennan said these three schools volunteered to try out the program, which is hoped to decrease the district’s vandalism costs.

“We thought it best to pilot it first to see how successful it might be,” he said. “We’re hoping the neighbours around the schools will be vigilant, pay attention to what’s going on around schools.”

School Watch is modelled on the RCMP Block Watch program.

The coordinator of the program – an administrator at each school – will drop off leaflets about the program, which will include who to contact if neighbours witness any suspicious behaviour, and hold a neighbourhood meeting or two.

Brennan said if School Watch is successful, it will likely have the bonus effect of reducing property crime throughout the neighbourhood, not just at school sites.