Neighborhood watches helping to deter crime, police say - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Neighborhood watches helping to deter crime, police say

“We have found a decrease in the crimes in those neighborhoods, because the neighbors are fully aware of what's going on,” says Lt. Crosby. “We have found a decrease in the crimes in those neighborhoods, because the neighbors are fully aware of what's going on,” says Lt. Crosby.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach Police Department is seeing a decrease in crime in neighborhoods where residents are actively involved in policing their own streets, according to the department's Lt. Joey Crosby.

The goal of the department's Crime Prevention Officer, Officer Henry Bresadola, is to help citizens be more aware in order to deter crime where their safety matters most – at home. And the department is seeing more positive results the more residents get involved.

“Knowledge is power,” says Lt. Crosby. “So as we are giving the citizens knowledge, in return, they are giving us knowledge back. Because they are letting us know what is happening in their neighborhoods that we may not see. As we all know, we are unable to be everywhere at all times. So we have to have the additional eyes and ears to help give us the information as to what may be going on.”

Officer Bresadola meets monthly with each of the city's watch groups. He gives those neighborhoods data on what crimes they are seeing and also gives tips on how to prevent those crimes from happening again. The department is working to build a partnership with residents. Lt. Joey Crosby say the hope is that when officers are not patrolling your streets, the community is doing its part and looking out for suspicious activities.

“We have found a decrease in the crimes in those neighborhoods, because the neighbors are fully aware of what's going on,” says Lt. Crosby. “They're mindful of suspicious cars, they're mindful of the activities that are happening in and around their neighborhoods. And they will call us and give us that information.”

The South End is one of those neighborhoods where police have seen a decrease in crime, despite their increase in tourism numbers. That area's watch group sends out emails every day with alerts and warnings. Officer Bresadola told members of the group that officers are not seeing the prostitution, drug offenses, panhandling, and other crimes that were common in recent years.

If you are interested in getting involved with your local watch group or interested in how to start one up for your area, call Officer Bresadola at 843-918-1806.

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