Here at Neighbourhood Watch London, we’ve created a new hashtag to use on Twitter called #EyesOpenLDN. This hashtag is meant to be used as a reminder to be on the lookout for any suspicious activities, people that need assistance, and safety concerns in the community.

With winter arriving in full swing, it’s important for every member of a Neighbourhood Watch community to be diligent in observing their surroundings. During the holidays, and shortly after, an increased number of people are away on vacation or visiting families, leaving homes empty and more susceptible to be targeted for criminal activity. Here are a few tips we recommend in the event someone is leaving their home for an extended period:

  • Arrange a neighbour or family member to stop by the home to check the mailbox, collect newspapers, and pick up any packages.
  • Ask a neighbour to shovel the driveway or walkway. This makes it safer for people like mail carriers to make deliveries, but also helps the home look lived in.
  • Use motion activated lights in the driveway or near any entrances.
  • Provide a spare key and list of contact numbers to a trusted person in the event of an emergency.
  • Do something out of the ordinary when you lock your door before you leave, so it’s memorable and you’ll have peace of mind when you think back to remember if you in fact locked it.
  • Tell neighbours if when you’re leaving, so they can keep their eyes open for unusual activity around your property.

By talking to your neighbours, you get an understanding of what normal traffic in your area looks like, and the familiar faces of those that live around you. This creates tighter-knit communities, and a feeling of belonging and safety. If you see something that looks suspicious in your area, there are ways to report it. You can call the non-emergency London Police line at 519-661-5670, or create a report online at www.londonpolice.ca/en/services/Make-a-Report. In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Neighbourhood Watch London invites everyone to join the conversation on twitter, and tell us how they keep their #EyesOpenLDN. We’d love to hear stories about how keeping your eyes open has made your community a safer, more inclusive place for you and your neighbours. Use the hashtag #EyesOpenLDN and tag @NWatchLondon to share stories, tips, and ideas.