Are you part of your neighborhood watch program? Well, Guam Police Department spokesman Sgt. Paul Tapao says you should be.
There’s more to being a part of a neighborhood than just moving in. Your neighborhood is your community and nowadays, with more residents staying home, there has been more engagement in making sure our homes and our neighbor’s homes are safe.
Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Tapao tells PNC that neighborhood watch programs are gaining popularity on social media, and that’s a good thing.
“We did an actual assessment of where we are now to where we were pre-COVID and of course last year. Believe it or not, the types of crimes being reported have actually gone down compared to last year. What we are seeing more social media neighborhood watch groups actively involved in reporting more incidents that are happening within their area and being shared and circulated throughout social media,” Tapao said.
Tapao says that this increase isn’t a reflection of an increase in crimes like theft.
“The reports of thefts and everything has actually gone down compared to last year and of course the pre-pandemic,” Tapao said.
Compared to last year, overall crime is down. With an increase in the community being vigilant, Tapao says GPD is keeping an eye on social media and so are the criminals.
“When they see it posted, it actually provides a deterrence. Now, the criminal element is aware that people are actually watching and engaging and are actively involved in ensuring that their area, that community, and that neighborhood watch is involved and taking an active stance in crime prevention,” Tapao said.
GPD says they want to see more of this type of community engagement. And of course, with the holiday season being a time when opportunistic thieves usually come out, GPD is encouraging island residents to join their neighborhood watch program because with many residents working from home, there are more watchful eyes to deter crime.