The theft of his pickup truck on May 7 prompted a Delhi man to try to create a Community Watch group.
Josh Bouw has been in contact with Norfolk County OPP Const. Ed Sanchuk, and Norfolk Coun. Mike Columbus about how such a group could benefit Delhi.
Sanchuk said getting the group off the ground will take time, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. But he noted that a community watch program in St. Williams has produced “great results.”
“By recognizing their role in the community safety partnership, residents can take ownership of their role in contributing to a safer and healthier community,” Sanchuk said in an email to the Reformer. “The core and essential component of the program is community commitment. Community volunteers run their own community watch program with the support of the local police service.”
Columbus said that, after being contacted by Bouw, he sought to have the Delhi Community Watch group idea to be discussed at the next meeting of the Norfolk police services board.
The Delhi area councillor said a neighbourhood watch group operated in the area about 30 years ago.
“It’s great that a local citizen is looking into this,” he said. “Everyone is excited about this.”
Columbus said that OPP statistics show break-ins are down in 2020 compared to 2019 but he has noticed that certain streets are being targeted.
“People are terrified when they have a break and enter,” he said. “It’s an invasion of their privacy, not to mention the damage that’s done. Anybody that can put a watchful eye out to curb some of this invasion of privacy and theft is what has to happen. It’s the best thing we can do with limited resources.”
The group is looking for Delhi-area members. To join, search for Community Watch – Delhi Ontario on Facebook. As of May 18, there were 438 members.
“For the most part, participating includes looking out for your community,” said Bouw. “When you leave for work you can leave a little early to circle around your neighbourhood and call if you see anything suspicious.”