Peninsulans band together to start new Neighborhood Watch for Ocean Beach and Point Loma
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 02/15/18 - 07:44 AM | 1651 views | 2 2 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The eight new Neighborhood Watch zones for Ocean Beach and Point Loma.
The eight new Neighborhood Watch zones for Ocean Beach and Point Loma.
slideshow
Obecians are stepping up to the plate following a call by one of their own to create a new Neighborhood Watch network encompassing OB and Point Loma.

Sunset Cliffs resident Nicole Ueno recently began lobbying local residents, seeking their support on a proposal to create as many as eight different neighborhood watch “zones” across Ocean Beach and Point Loma.

The movement is in part reacting to a recent major uptick in crime. Police responded to eight separate incidents of arson and vandalism — including people setting fire to alley debris, breaking car windows, even setting them ablaze — in OB in the month-long period between Dec. 7 and Jan. 7. 

Spearheaded by Ueno, 40-plus locals gathered Jan. 31 at the Ocean Beach Town Hall to discuss what can be done proactively to help prevent crime. Topics vetted included aggressive homeless panhandling, vandalism, tagging, arson and illegal camps.

What came out of that Jan. 31 meeting, was a proposal to form new Neighborhood Watch groups in both OB and Point Loma with several different zones.

A Facebook page has also been created to popularize and promote the Neighborhood Watch effort.

Asked why she’s creating new Neighborhood Watch groups, Ueno replied, “Just the overall increase in crime in the area, [growing] trespassing incidents by solicitors getting into people’s homes — it goes back a few years.”

Ueno described the initial reaction she’s received from Peninsula residents to her efforts as “a huge outpouring of support from all sides.”

Ueno said her plan for OB is to extend the concept of the Neighborhood Watches, “So that you have members spread throughout each of the zones. We’re working now on setting up the zones, and getting neighbors to participate on their block, or in their zone.”

Asked about the progress of her efforts, Ueno answered, “It already seems to be happening seamlessly.” She added her goal is to have the new network up and running by the end of February.

“We want to have all our telephone trees and messenger groups intact by then,” Ueno said. “We need to set up zones, and captains for those zones. We’ll have a meeting where we can all get to know each other.”

Ueno said her reasons for spearheading Neighborhood Watch groups goes beyond the recent crime spurt.

“People don’t feel safe in their community,” she concluded. “We are trying to activate, and engage, people to take some action to change that.”

Ueno said her Neighborhood Watch initiative is seeking other improvements from the city for beach communities.

“We’re petitioning the city for more street lights to be installed in OB, which is very dark at night,” she said. “We also want to put together a self-defense class for women. We also want to set up first aid and CPR certification classes to train people what to do in the event of medical emergencies. We also want to put together a self-defense class for women.”

Setting up a Neighborhood Watch will also involve introducing new signage to alert citizens, and warn criminals, that a citizen’s anti-crime network is functioning.

Ueno said, as of mid-February, nearly 900 people had signed on to the new Neighborhood Watch program via the community’s Facebook page.

“We’re all working together, sharing ideas,” Ueno said of the ongoing effort.

Previously, Ueno, a lifelong Obecian, said she was “lucky to have grown up in such a beautiful and unique place.” But, she added, crime and rude behavior in OB has grown to the point where “I’m afraid to walk at night, or of getting yelled at for not handing out cigarettes or money, or stepping on broken glass on Newport Avenue where I used to walk barefoot in the summer. There’s no way I’d let my kids do that today.” 

Comments
(2)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Margaret Virissimo
|
February 15, 2018
We actually have our own group called Point Loma Neighborhood Watch Group to report back to OB so that we can work together to fight the crime in both neighborhoods.

Follow our page on Facebook. Our first meeting for the Peninsula is March 21 at 6:30 @ Point Loma Harvey Library. Join Us.

Thanks!
L Bautista
|
March 02, 2018
Please Beware:

3/2/2018

My daughter in her 20’s was approached by an older man at a Starbucks’s on Rosecrans and Nimitz Area by Ralph’s where she was studying. He tried to strike up a conversation with her. He had short white/gray hair and was tanned. Maybe in his 60’s. Had an accent probably Australian or Bristish. She was cordial but tried to ignore him. He relocated to a table close to her, her back to him. She could feel him staring at her. He tried several times to continue conversation and get personal information from her. She finally picked up her things and left for her car. Before leaving the Starbuck’s she called her boyfriend and quickly went to her car and locked the car doors. Before she could pull out the man was standing behind her car , she ignored him and continued to back out hoping he would just move, he was then at the side window of her car. She continued to back out and she drove away. She kept her eyes out for the possibility of being followed. There was no sign of him so she headed home. The whole time she kept her boyfriend on the phone with her. Please tell your single girls friends and daughters to be careful.
Trending