As­sault on a neigh­bour in­spired a new neigh­bour­hood watch

North Toronto Post - - News -

On a Satur­day af­ter­noon last fall,Yonge Street and Lawrence Av­enue res­i­dent DiDi Cameron was walk­ing home after a run when she found out one of her neigh­bours had been at­tacked, slashed and stabbed in broad day­light.

“That af­ter­noon, I was re­ally ner­vous,” said Cameron. “I’m a sin­gle mom of three, but even if you were mar­ried with five kids, you would still be ner­vous that this per­son was lurk­ing around.” Cameron con­tacted Const.Ti­mothy Somers at Toronto Po­lice Ser­vice, 53 Di­vi­sion to dis­cuss ways they could make the com­mu­nity safer. She then went door to door, shar­ing her email ad­dress with neigh­bours and telling them that she was go­ing to start a neigh­bour­hood watch in a pri­vate, on­line Google group. “By that Sun­day, I had 80 fam­i­lies join. They had all emailed me, and I was up and run­ning on Mon­day,” said Cameron.

Her neigh­bour­hood watch group now in­cludes more than 400 fam­i­lies, and she’s been in touch with res­i­dents in Mount Pleasant, For­est Hill, Rosedale and Bathurst-Eglin­ton to cre­ate sim­i­lar groups in those ar­eas.

Al­though the idea for a neigh­bour­hood watch group was trig­gered by an as­sault, much of the group’s fo­cus is on auto theft, and home and car breakins.

“[The neigh­bour­hood watch] has been ab­so­lutely in­stru­men­tal in at least three ar­rests al­ready in 2018 that would have never hap­pened with­out it, sim­ply be­cause they got ahead of it with video and re­ported sus­pi­cious in­ci­dents that fit the cat­e­gory of some­body who was pre­par­ing for a break and en­ter,” said Const. Somers.

“There has been a steady num­ber of as­saults, and it can be half at­trib­uted to the fact that peo­ple are fight­ing back in rob­beries and not giv­ing up their prop­erty.” — Po­lice Con­sta­ble Ti­mothy Somers, 53 Di­vi­sion

DiDi Cameron started a neigh­bour­hood watch in her area

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