Glenora woman looking out for her neighbours

Block watcher Gail Robertson has the Glenora area covered.  - Ashley Gaudreault
Block watcher Gail Robertson has the Glenora area covered.
— image credit: Ashley Gaudreault

Gail Robertson has her block covered.

Do you?

The 61-year- Glenora resident was recently awarded for her volunteer efforts as an advocate for the Cowichan Valley Block Watch program.

The avid gardener and Cowichan Valley Camera Club member is also responsible for getting the rest of the folks in the surrounding areas involved as volunteers and co-captains in the crime-prevention program.

“We’re pretty well set here for back up,” Robertson said in an interview after the Dec. 16 award presentation. “The community is really coming together. It’s the first time we now have a dedicated co-captain for every street.”

Robertson’s pretty proud of her fellow crime-capping captains and Block Watch leaders North Cowichan/ Duncan RCMP Cst. Markus Leuder and Crime Prevention’s Carol-Ann Rolls.

“Carol-Ann Rolls, in my opinion is the heart and soul of the Block Watch program in the Cowichan Valley. She keeps everyone on track and going,” Robertson stressed.

“Markus has got really involved as well.”

Rolls had lots to say about Robertson’s passion too.

“Herself and her late husband Pete took the Glenora area on as their project and they basically went out to canvas the entire Glenora neighbourhood and get individuals interested in being co-captains and coming on board so that they would do their particular street,” she explained. “Gail oversees the entire Glenora area.”

Rolls said Robertson’s role in the international program felt right.

“It’s just her nature. She’s a very community-minded, orientated person and living in Glenora really helps. Glenora’s got that small community, rural, let’s unite, let’s get together feel to it.”

Robertson manages 10 co-captains of 10 streets with 190 participating homes altogether.

Roads she wasn’t able to find someone to man she’s taken on herself, Rolls added.

Robertson’s been block-watching for more than five years.

“It’s about the presence,” she said noting fewer instances of petty crimes in her now fully protected neighbourhood.

She noted one case where a pack of dogs was wreaking havoc on farm animals and family pets.

After the first report of the pooches gone wild, captain Robertson got the wheels in motion by getting in touch with co-captains, who then got a hold of their street’s homeowners.

A call is always made to local police too, she noted.

Eventually, word got around and the dogs disappeared.

Robertson speculates their owners realized what they’d been up to and started to keep them locked up at night.

Robertson gives thanks to all her co-captains.

She’s hopeful more Cowichan Valley readers will get inspired and hop on board the program in their neighbourhood.

“It’s so great to see it working the way it does when everyone comes together and passing information along.”

More about block watch

Block Watch is an international crime prevention program, sponsored and delivered in the Cowichan Valley through the Cowichan Community Policing Society and the RCMP.

Block Watch is all about neighbours helping neighbours. Households, apartments or condominiums on a block form a communication chain aided by a map of names, telephone numbers and addresses. Participants watch out for each other’s homes and report suspicious activities to the police and each other.

Block Watch operates on the idea that the police cannot be everywhere at once.

For information on how to volunteer, call 701-9146.

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