A criminal breaking into a car. Sidney and North Saanich Citizens on Patrol are looking for eight new members. (Black Press File)

Peninsula crime fighters need more volunteers

Citizens on Patrol are seeking eight new volunteers for weekend shifts

The Citizens on Patrol (COP) is on the lookout for volunteers.

The group, operating in and around Sidney and North Saanich, have 10 members and are seeking at least eight more.

ALSO READ: Police appeal for public’s help after suspicious man follows woman around Centennial Park trails

COP has been in existence for around 10 years and pairs of volunteers cruise the streets in their cars, looking out for “suspicious persons or vehicles.” According to Jim Shepherd, a North Saanich resident and member, they tend to focus on schools, parks, construction sites, parking lots and marinas.

“We’re out there to assist the RCMP,” says Shepherd. “Unfortunately the RCMP can’t be everywhere at once so we’re extra eyes and ears.”

Shepherd says that while the group are seeking more volunteers, he is happy to report that incidents are usually few and of a low level. He says successes over the past 12 months include stopping youth enjoy a beachside fire, reporting a man for public intoxication and notifying RCMP of some teenagers climbing on a building.

ALSO READ: Anti-theft stickers distributed in Sidney and North Saanich

One of the group’s primary functions is to run licence plate numbers through a special computer program linked to ICBC, which checks for stolen or fraudulent plates. Perhaps reflecting the safe environment in this part of Vancouver Island, in 10 years they have only found one.

Some of COP’s volunteers are first aid trained and while they usually stay within their vehicles, they say they will assist road traffic incidents if they can help.

Staff Sergeant Wayne Conley of the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP says COP do valuable work.

ALSO READ: Victim of cyber attack speaks out, highlights Sidney generosity

“They are a great partner in our effort to keep Sidney and North Saanich safe places to live and work.”

Volunteers are a mix of working people and retirees, and are equipped with flashlights, reflective arm bands and battery operated lights. Shepherd says while there is no formal training, new recruits will receive mentoring from more experienced members.

Although Sidney and North Saanich enjoy a very low crime rate, COP have been operating for 10 years and run weekend shifts from 7 to 8 p.m. and 9 p.m to 1 a.m.

For more information contact Shepherd at 250-655-9224.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Saanich councillors slow to respond for feedback on council procedures

Among calls for procedural changes, staff still waiting to hear from six councillors

Saanich sponsors Jeux de la Francophonie giving $50,000 for the French-language Games

Couns. Susan Brice and Nathalie Chambers opposed funding, citing substantive and procedural concerns

VicPD arrest reportedly armed man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

The man was found near Centennial Square on Tuesday afternoon

Port Renfrew man charged with animal cruelty

Hot coffee poured on dog’s face, say police

Sarah McLachlan performs and donors raise $555,000 for inclusive outdoor activities

Power To Be reached their fundraising goal at their Nature Gala on July 12

VIDEO: Black bear caught climbing tree in Langford neighbourhood

Triangle Mountain residents on alert following bear sighting

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Most Read