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New Harbour Village ll Is 698th Neighbourhood Watch

THE community of New Harbour Village ll in Old Harbour, St Catherine, last Sunday became the 698th neighbourhood watch programme to be launched with the National Neighbourhood Watch Secretariat.

Rudolph Moore, president of the National Neighbourhood Watch Secretariat, pointed out that the national neighbourhood watch programme is by far the largest membership group in Jamaica and that the programme will continue to grow and expand right across the island. He urged the New Harbour Village ll Citizens' Association (NHVll CA) to ensure the sustainability of the programme and put in place a succession plan.

"... As a committee you cannot have the same old meetings all the time; you have to mix it up at times, to keep things interesting," he said. "You can invite different stakeholders to present on topics that will be of interest and benefit to community members."

He also encouraged the citizens' association to get more residents, especially the youth, involved, while cautioning the group about having the same people in leadership positions. "You can't have one person being the president of your programme for 10, 15 years; a succession plan needs to be put in place, this will encourage persons to step forward, become volunteers and bring new and fresh ideas to the table."

Assistant Commissioner of Police Elbert Nelson, who was representing the Commissioner of Police Carl Williams, congratulated the residents for taking the first step towards creating a more secure community. The assistant commissioner also said that initiatives like the formation of the neighbour watch could help Jamaica to move one step closer to Vision 2030.

Meanwhile, director of security for NHVII CA and chief coordinator for the neighbourhood watch programme, Kevin Patterson, said: "To date, we have coordinated at the phase and block levels over 12 mock drills in addition to a community wide drill, which was successfully executed on Saturday, October 25, 2014." He said the purpose of the drills was to test how residents would respond to various types of crisis situations and to adopt best practices moving forward.

Patterson said the 10 pillars of the neighbourhood watch programme, which the citizens' association was fully committed to upholding, were: awareness, alertness, commitment, communication, cooperation, consistency, empowerment, participation, unity, and leadership.

The ceremony was well-attended by various stakeholders from the police force, political directorate and government agencies.

From: The Jamaica Observer, Nov. 8, 2014