Metchosin residents set up Facebook neighborhood watch page in response to recent crime surge

Metchosin residents set up Facebook neighborhood watch page in response to recent crime surge

WATCH: A group in Metchosin is trying to make the community safer after a recent surge in petty crime. They’re doing it by starting a neighbourhood watch on Facebook. And as Luisa Alvarez tells us, they say social media is a more effective method in this modern world.

It’s certainly not your average neighbourhood block watch, but a Facebook group titled “Don’t mess with Metchosin” hopes to have the same effect.

“In the modern society social media is really the way to go if you want to alert people fairly quickly because people do check their Facebook page,” said one of the site administrators Paula Leweke.

Leweke says its especially important because many people have stands selling eggs and produce near the road and it’s entirely based on the honour system.

The idea for the page is quite new as it only started about two weeks ago, but it’s clear the interest is there because it already has over 300 members ? all encouraged to keep their eyes peeled.

The group is described as “The best information regarding local crimes including location time of day vehicle descriptions photos and video.”

Anyone who sees something suspicious reports it in the group, warning others.

Each post is approved by either Leweke or any of the two other site administrators: Kelly Munro who created the page and Dawn Doui.

The idea blossomed after a recent surge in petty crime not just in Metchosin but in surrounding communities as well.

“There was starting to be some break-ins at Matheson Lake, which is here in Metchosin and some broken windows and also in the neighbourhood of East Sooke so we were thinking that we needed to have a group to help keep Metchosin safe,” said Leweke.

As recent as the last few days members have reported suspicious males checking car doors in the Happy Valley area, a neighbour on Sooke Road who had their chicken coop broken into and eggs stolen, as well as someone who had their dump truck rifled through.

“It makes us feel like we are very proactive so lets dos something very positive very creative and support our community to try and keep it safe,” said Leweke.

But Leweke wants to make some things clear “We are not here to take over from the RCMP and we are not here to be a vigilante group and we are not here to point fingers.”

Those who post are encouraged to alert the police as well.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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