PCSO offers crime watch

COUNTY — After a long winter, spring has finally arrived.
With the warmer weather comes more vacations, time camping, hiking or at the lake, as well as other outdoor activities that leave our homes unoccupied. Unfortunately, what also comes along with this fun time of year are residential break-ins and thefts.

“We believe that some of this criminal activity can be prevented through a heightened awareness by homeowners and coordinated efforts by neighborhoods and communities to watch out for one another,” said Pickens County Sheriff C. David Stone. “Most people know what routines and activities are normal for their neighborhood. Quite often, someone sees something out of the ordinary but fails to report it. Neighborhood Watch Programs are an effort to encourage communities to become more aware of their surroundings and to be better observers, to watch out for each other and to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.

“Citizen involvement in the community in programs like ‘Crime Watch’ is more important now than ever before because of changes in society. Our great-grandparents and maybe even grandparents lived in houses that had large front porches that were the center of neighborhood social activity, especially in the evenings and on Sundays.

“In the ‘60s, homes were built with just a small front stoop; society had migrated around to the back deck or patio. In the decades that followed came privacy fences, people became more mobile and old, and established neighborhoods became a thing of the past. Although our ability to communicate is greater today than ever before through internet and social media, people may be communicating half a world away and not with the person next door. Isolation within communities is greater than ever before as well.”

Crime Watch is an effort to enhance personal communication within neighborhoods and to strengthen communities, which is a common goal of crime prevention.

Any neighborhood, community group, church or organization that would like to have a deputy meet with them about a crime watch program, or those interested in additional information are asked to call the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office at 898-5500.