Decrease in home break-ins after neighbourhood watch is created
Last year, the Bayview and York Mills area community was plagued by home break-ins, many within the Chinese community. This year, Toronto Police Service, 32 Division has seen a 13 per cent decrease in break-ins.
In the spring of 2017, Xiong Deng created the Bayview York Mills Chinese Community neighbourhood watch through WeChat, an app similar to Whatsapp, and it now has about 600 members. “We worry about [break-ins] because in the Chinese community, there’s a lot of people going back and forth between Canada and China, so often there will be kids and women staying at home,” said Deng.
Deng said he used a function on WeChat where he was able to add his neighbours, and any new members must provide their name, address and phone number to the person managing the group.
“If I see any suspicious car or person walking around, knocking on doors, I would just post it with some pictures and wording telling them to just be careful,” he said.
Since the creation of the neighbourhood watch, Deng said there has been a noticeable decrease in break-ins in the area. The community has also begun working with police.
“With the help of Jaye Robinson [the local city councillor], we arranged meetings with the division and chat about the issues and the things we need to do to prevent crime,” said Deng.
The neighbours also work together to collect mail or cut the grass for anyone who is away, to prevent that house from becoming a target.
Members of the Bayview York Mills Chinese Community neighbourhood watch