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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Neighborhood Watch is nothing new, but technology is changing the way communities get together. In the past year, several Wilmington neighborhood pages have popped up on Facebook, and the trend continues to grow.

You can find your friends and businesses on Facebook. Now you can find your neighbors.

Some of the newest pages on the social media site are neighborhood pages. Some pages list neighborhood events, but there are some like “Ogden Community Watch,” which is your typical neighborhood watch, but online.

“The main thing that prompted me, there was some issues in the area with a little boy. Luckily he’s OK,” said Ally Harper.

Harper started the “Ogden Community Watch” page last month, after a neighborhood kid had a close call with an alleged abductor. Now the mom is trying to create a safer community.

“I’ve been here for 11 years, and I’ve noticed some changes here with some break-ins and close calls with children,” Harper said. “Facebook is just a great way to get the message out there.”

Neighbors like Melissa Siano say the Facebook page will bring their neighborhood closer.

“I’m hoping that people can join together and possibly start knowing who their neighbors are again,” Siano said. “It seems to me that people don’t even know who lives next door to them anymore.”

Even though the “Ogden Watch” Facebook page only has a few members right now, Harper and Siano hope their whole neighborhood will get involved and start posting on the page.

Recently David Hutson wrote about a woman who knocked on his door in the middle of the night asking for a ride. Harper and Siano say this is a perfect example on how neighbors can let each other know what’s going on.

“We can post if we see suspicious activity or if we know about a break-in, anything in the surrounding neighborhoods, and we can really try and help each other out and keeping each other informed,” Siano said.

Harper and Siano say they are in the process of also getting a traditional neighborhood watch together. They plan to post updates from that neighborhood watch group on Facebook as well.

Comment on this Story

  • robo

    Don’t people realize that what is posted on facebook is not necessarily safe in itself? Personally I do not want my name and address posted in this regard.

  • Guest45465456

    You don’t post info on there that you don’t want to share, BUT it is a great way to keep in tounch with neighbors that you don’t have their phone#s ect… You can private message someone down the street and say “Hey, I noticed your gate was open today in your backyard” It is a great tool IF people are willing to use it.

    I tried it in my neighborhood.. used it to send out meeting times and help to get agendas, but people didn’t seem interested..

    I agree that Facebook can be a great tool for neighborhood watches, but onloy if used right.

  • Yes, many Home Owner Associations are using Facebook and even their Neighborhood Watch programs, but to truly manage those communitcations, map them, and provide real time information public safety can use, try http://www.GuardianWatch.com. Dr. Jones Founder

  • Tony Martinez

    What a great tool for law enforcement in keeping a community informed and educated with safety tips. Unfortunately many law enforcement agencies are the last to use this type of technology.

  • Guest461

    Why is it that everything advertised, told on the media, sold in a store or dumped in the toilet has to be “liked” on Facebook? It’s “social network” for people to gossip, lie, brag, catch their cheaters and the best most, open opportunity ever for hackers to gain access to your personal information. And you want to use an insecure social media site for “neighborhood watch”? Gimme a freekin’ break here!

    Look folks, if you want a community watch, do it properly by knowing your neighbors “personally”! That means MEET them in person, patrol the neighborhood in person, call each other to report problems and have regular “personal” (with real people) meetings.

    People are getting way to lazy and way too dependent on the cyber atmosphere. The fact is, there are just some things your computer WILL NOT do for you no matter how long your lazy a$$ can’t get up from in front of it

  • Guest7969

    The area you are talking about…if that apartment complex closed down and disappeared…your problems would be solved…THANKS FEDS…for Section 8!!!

  • Guest8956895412

    Which apartment community are you talking about?

  • Guest Reply

    1. All criminals have to do is “cut” the cable in half that gives the neighborhood the internet! “JEEZ”
    2. Since it’s Facebook…some hacker will hack into their web chats and post “All is well” when they are really being robbed.
    3. And this too…what if their electricity goes out during a storm/etc.? Then I would imagine they would have to go back to the old school way of a neighborhood watch program…or a police officer cruising through every now and again.
    That Facebook…just can’t live without it and letting the whole world know every stitch of their business…HA!!!

  • Guest15879

    There is not a single “the cable” to cut. Some people get Internet access from the Cable TV company, some from the phone company, some from satellite providers, but I’d dare say most of these people are accessing Facebook via their smart phones. The smart phone also removes the possibility of a power outage making their using Facebook impossible – they should have it for at least a couple of hourss.

    I’d also doubt anyone sophisticated enough to hack their private instant messaging would be associating with the idiots who break into houses as a source of income.

    Other than that, I agree with you about a neighborhood watch but I’m sure they’re doing that too.

  • Toni

    Malden Crimewatch in Malden, MA has been using facebook for alerts and happenings in our neighborhood for two years. At the moment we have 1,800 members, most of the members contribute on the site, it’s not perfect, just another tool to use against criminals in your neighborhood.

  • watch coordinator

    We use a facebook page for our neighborhood watch. It is a secret group, so no one except neighbors who are members can view the page. We post issues, comments, plans, crime reports. It is working very well.


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