Rural Watch :: Why Rural Watch?
Why Rural Watch?
There's often a false sense of security in rural and agricultural areas. The troubles of the big city - including crime - seem far, far away.
But criminals are opportunists, and when they find a profitable opportunity, they don't care about your peace and serenity.
There are lots of targets for criminals in rural areas. There are popular vehicles ranging from high-end pick-up trucks to SUVs. Farm vehicles and quipment can fetch a big profit. There is a wide range of recreational vehicles from ATV's to dirt bikes to snowmobiles.
Criminals also know that many rural homes have firearms.
Rural homes are usually somewhat isolated. The nearest neighbours are hundreds of meters away and often, the home and outbuildings are a few hundred meters from the nearest public road.
In a community such as The Blue Mountains, there are also second homes which are unoccupied through the week or for several weeks at a time.
In other words, there are worthwhile (ie profitable) targets and a low risk of being seen. That, to a criminal, spells opportunity.
As well, rural areas have become popular places to set up marijuana grow-ops or labs to process drugs such as methamphetamine.
Rural Watch is a program designed to help rural communities become much less attractive to criminals.
There is plenty of evidence that 'Watch' programs work. Criminals are deterred when they see signs that neighbours are working together, and with their local police, to keep an eye on each and every neighbourhood. Criminals don't want to be caught and that means they don't want to be seen. The notion that a neighbour or passerby might take note of a strange vehicle parked in a neighbour's lane is scary to a criminal who relies on 'blending in' to avoid detection.
And that's what Rural Watch is all about.