Getting to know your neighbours is one of the first steps you can take to help build a safe community for you and your children. As a police service, we rely on you to know what’s normal in your community and let us know when something suspicious is happening. Your neighbours are one of the best lines of defence to deter crime, and so it’s important to foster a good relationship with them.
Keep a contact list. It’s a good idea to keep a contact list of at least five different neighbours, especially those that live immediately around your home. Make sure you have their names, phone numbers, and the address of their residence. You should always be able to give your neighbour’s address in an emergency situation. We have worked with the Federation of Calgary Communities to create a ‘My Neighbour Card’ that can help you conveniently keep track of this information. Cards can be downloaded from calgarycommunities.com or can be acquired through your local Community Resource Officer.
Let your neighbour know if you are out of town. Keep in contact with your neighbours and let each other know when you will be away for any length of time. It’s important to have someone who can keep an eye on your house, collect the mail, and mow your lawn if you’ll be gone for an extended period of time.
Talk to each other. It can make things a lot easier if you have a good relationship with your neighbours. Introduce yourself when someone new moves in and always have open communication. If you have a concern that involves a neighbour, the best way to deal with it is by talking with your neighbour in person; some sentiments can be misinterpreted when communicated through letters, emails, and text messages.
If a dispute arises
Try using a third-party. If you have an ongoing neighbour dispute that cannot be resolved by the parties involved, try using a professional mediator. The City of Calgary offers free mediation services to help neighbours address unresolved conflict. For more information, check out communitymediation.ca.
Contact a Community Resource Officer. If you have exhausted all other options, involving police is another way to help resolve the conflict. You can consult with your local Community Resource Officer who may be able to help you come to a mutually-beneficial resolution. You can go through your district office to contact your local Community Resource Officer. For district contact information, visit calgarypolice.ca.
Report any crimes to police. For any dispute that results in a crime, including threats of violence, call police at 403-266-1234, or 9-1-1 for an emergency or crime-in-progress.
Maintaining a positive relationship with your neighbours is crucial to the safety of your community. Neighbours who look out for each other help to keep
the whole community safe.
Roger Chaffin is the Chief of Police for the Calgary Police Service.
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