Neighborhood starts watch program to deter crooks, crime - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Neighborhood starts watch program to deter crooks, crime

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A once crime-ridden neighborhood in the south end of Myrtle Beach united to form a block watch program and deter crooks, and four years later, neighbors are seeing success.

The South Myrtle Beach neighborhood, located between 19th Avenue South and 29th Avenue South, Ocean Boulevard and Kings Highway, has seen crime drastically drop since more than 250 households became part of a watch program four years ago. The watch program is a partnership between the citizens and the police department. The goal of the program is to reduce crime and make the neighborhood safer on a long-term basis.

"The prostitutes that we had on the street, they were disappearing,” says Craig Teller, the coordinator or the South Myrtle Beach Neighborhood Watch group. “They were going elsewhere. The panhandlers, they disappeared. Everything improved: car break-ins, we'd have one or two a day. We hardly have any now down here."

This group does not go out driving through the neighborhood on patrol. The police department does not recommend they take actual policing into their own hands. Citizens become the eyes and ears of the police department. So instead of having one or two police patrols come through their neighborhood a night, they now have hundreds of households on a vigilant watch. During their weekly meetings, citizens have an opportunity to voice their concerns about activity in their neighborhoods and police also give them information as to what they're keeping an eye out for.

"What happens is that these people who are looking for trouble and coming into the neighborhood, once they realize that the police are going to come and they're going to be questioned, they don't come back. They move on. And that's what I think has really happened in this neighborhood. That they've come in a few times, the police have been called, and they've decided well there are better places to go than South Myrtle Beach,” Teller says.

If you live in a neighborhood with a crime problem, Teller highly recommends looking into starting a watch program. The first step is to get in touch with the city's crime prevention officer. The officer can help with the initial steps of getting it up and running. And utilizing the Myrtle Beach Police Department's Police-2-Citizen website for updates on crime in your neighborhood is also a great resource to stay informed.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Breaking

    Horry County firefighter arrested for sexual battery with a student

    Horry County firefighter arrested for sexual battery with a student

    Thursday, January 18 2018 6:41 PM EST2018-01-18 23:41:25 GMT
    Matthew Oswald. (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)Matthew Oswald. (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

    An Horry County firefighter living in Conway was arrested Wednesday and charged with sexual battery with a student, according to jail records and other sources. Matthew James Oswald, 31, from Conway, was arrested by Horry County police at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday and charged with sexual battery with a student. As of Thursday morning, he remained incarcerated at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

    More >>

    An Horry County firefighter living in Conway was arrested Wednesday and charged with sexual battery with a student, according to jail records and other sources. Matthew James Oswald, 31, from Conway, was arrested by Horry County police at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday and charged with sexual battery with a student. As of Thursday morning, he remained incarcerated at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

    More >>
  • Consider This: Time for a change on Yaupon Drive

    Consider This: Time for a change on Yaupon Drive

    Thursday, January 18 2018 5:44 PM EST2018-01-18 22:44:29 GMT
    Yaupon Drive (Source: WMBF News)Yaupon Drive (Source: WMBF News)

    A fresh start is something many of us look forward to as we head into a new year.  It’s a time when we set goals for ourselves professionally and personally to make us strive for more and become better in many different ways. 

    More >>

    A fresh start is something many of us look forward to as we head into a new year.  It’s a time when we set goals for ourselves professionally and personally to make us strive for more and become better in many different ways. 

    More >>
  • Georgetown armed robbery suspect captured in Alabama

    Georgetown armed robbery suspect captured in Alabama

    Thursday, January 18 2018 5:41 PM EST2018-01-18 22:41:18 GMT
    Shannon Lane Bone (Source: Georgetown County Sheriff's Office)Shannon Lane Bone (Source: Georgetown County Sheriff's Office)

    A woman wanted in connection to an armed robbery of a Georgetown County convenience store has been captured in Alabama, according to a press release from the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office.

    More >>

    A woman wanted in connection to an armed robbery of a Georgetown County convenience store has been captured in Alabama, according to a press release from the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly