I've heard of neighbourhood watch schemes, but it was one of things that I was too busy and not curious enough to find out.
.... until I was renewing my house and contents insurance policy and learned that being in an official neighbourhood watch area would lower my premium.
So I set out to enquire. After a few phone calls, namely the local council, the local police station, I finally got hold of the lady who coordinated this area. It turned out that she has been volunteering for the last two years, raising the number of areas from 86 to a whopping 300 !
So why start or join one?
- lowers home insurance premium
- reduces crime, or rather, helps prevent crime
- builds community
- increases feeling of safety and security
- get a police constable assigned to the neighbourhood watch area
What's the catch?
- need to have a least four meetings a year
- getting started is the hard part
Ironically, the people least likely to take part are those most likely to be victims. They're the ones who aren't home in the day or evening due to work and social life. They're the ones who are too busy or not curious enough to bother. That describes the me before I became job-free -- hardly ever home due to my job and my travels.
23 July 2002 Tuesday
I grew up in a neighbourhood where the fathers worked at the same place, the mothers exchanged recipes, and the children went to the same schools.
Since we all worked and played together, there was no need to lock our house and car doors.
We walked freely to our neighbours' homes without having to make appointments in advance.
Our parents shared carpooling the kids to extracurricular activities like swimming classes. We borrowed milk from our neighbours if we've run out.
After I left Okinawa, I learned that neighbourhoods like the one I grew up in were few and far between.
When people get burgled, they move. So there's always a high turnover and people don't get to know each other. If people don't share activities, how will they get to know each other? If they don't know each, how could they possibly learn to trust each other?
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