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New south Nanaimo blockwatch seeks community members

A new blockwatch forming on the south end of Nanaimo is seeking neighbors and community members.

The blockwatch is a community network among neighbors between Victoria Road, Needham, and Pine street (set boundaries are still being figured out and this may not stick) who can share intel about suspicious individuals or crimes happening in their area.

Co-captain for the watch, Collen Middleton, says the last straw for him was when his garage was broken into.

“After that I started more actively going to talk with my neighbors on the intersection there to see what we could do,” said Middleton. “Through this first year living in the south I met Gary O’Brien and he’d been out promoting the blockwatch concept to me and you know finally I kind of had the time and energy.”

Middleton says they currently have fifteen homes as part of the blockwatch, and there’s a small trickle of people joining in.

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“I’m not sure how many makes sense, but I’ve committed that if it gets too big, we’ll help the next people splinter off and set up their own blockwatch with the contacts we’re getting.”

He says there are many blockwatches around Nanaimo, but there aren’t any in the south part. Anyone who lives within the south end, regardless of whether they are an owner or a renter, is able to express interest in joining a blockwatch.

“A community sharing information with each other and sharing the information that can help people keep tabs on your property or your neighbor’s property, to reduce crimes of opportunity— because that seems to be what a lot of it is, something left out that’s of interest or value, it can disappear pretty easily,” said Middleton. 

“Locks on sheds, doors, like when we had our garage broken into, in hindsight we didn’t have a great padlock. Still, it took somebody eight minutes to break it open.”

If you’re interested in joining the blockwatch, you’re encouraged to email [email protected].

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