OVER the past three years, the Greytown Neighbourhood Watch (GNW) has grown in number, having a positive impact on the reduction of crime in our community.Neighbours helping neighbours. It’s a simple concept that holds immeasurable power when it comes to keeping communities safe. Thanks to the community for taking a more active role in stopping crime before it starts. People expect to live in their neighbourhoods in peace and quiet. Although it’s difficult to measure the effectiveness of neighbourhood watch against crimes, neighbourhood watch programmes are undoubtedly effective. People watch out a little more for each other, and if we have a problem, it’s good to know that we have people to help get the word out on what to do.Neighbourhood watch encourages homeowners to have security inspections, upgrade locks, and affiliate yourself to a security company that offers armed response. Residents must remember to keep their eyes open. No matter how many times security patrols go through a community each day, no one knows their own neighbourhood better than the people who live there. You need to be the eyes and ears for law enforcement. Keeping an eye out for suspicious activity, anything that seems out of the ordinary neighbourhood routine, will have the biggest impact on deterring would-be criminals.If you know someone’s away and a vehicle pulls up to their front gate, don’t just question that in your mind, be vigilant. If you see an unusual car parked on your street, get the license plate number, details of the vehicle and forward this to 911 and your security company. Residents should always keep an eye out for strangers in their neighbourhood. If anyone is seen running through the neighbourhood carrying suspicious packages, entering an unoccupied house, loitering around or peering into cars, waiting around schools or parks, even appearing at people’s doors as a delivery person with the wrong address, call the authorities and inform members of neighbourhood watch. It’s imperative to always make picking up the phone your first action. Don’t ever try to be a hero and stop a break-in or a robbery. It’s just too dangerous.The most important way to help local law enforcement is to try to remember as many details as possible either about the individual or the situation just witnessed. Write down what happened, when and where it happened and as much details as possible. When it comes to vehicles, try to remember license plate numbers, even portions of them can help, and as much detail about the make and model of the car as possible as well as the direction of its travel. In terms of people, think of height, weight, sex, hair colour, race, clothing, and other distinguishing details. The more details people can remember, the better the chance that law enforcement will be able to find and prosecute the suspect. Safety, like so many other things, is in the details. It’s all about exchange of information. Constant communication and active reporting are very important. Share this information with your domestic workers and gardeners as well. Ensure your domestic workers know where the panic buttons are situated on your property. You need to know your neighbours, let them know when you are away so they can keep an eye on your property. With the festive season approaching, test your alarms systems prior to going on holiday.Currently, copper theft is on the increase in Greytown with a number of cases reported recently. Please ensure that if your property is left vacant you have someone checking on it. For more information on how to become a member of a neighbourhood watch group you can contact the security company you are affiliated to. Together we can win the fight against crime. — Supplied.