Birmingham neighborhood sets example for ‘block watch’ walks

Local News

FIVE POINTS SOUTH, Ala (WIAT) — A new campaign to end gun violence is launching in Birmingham.

It’s called the Increase Peace campaign, announced Mayor Randall Woodfin on Thursday. 

One of the recommendations mentioned in the campaign is for neighborhood associations to organize block watches and walks. 

Five Points South, one of the Birmingham neighborhoods, is already doing weekly block watch walks. 

Five Points South is no stranger to crime, so for the past year, they started getting together and walking through their neighborhood. 

“We restarted the neighborhood watch. We talked to southside precinct and talked to them about how to do this, the best way for neighborhood watches so that’s why we stepped ahead,” said Walter Henson, the Five Points South block watch captain. 

Five Points has had thefts, robberies, and homicides. 

That is why they started the block watch and it is grabbing neighbor’s attention. 

“They walk around. They are just looking for abandoned cars, homes that might have busted windows that they may or may not be able to board up with owners permission, but they’re doing as much as they can. Code enforcement looking out, the thing the neighborhood needs to make residents feel safer,” said Stephen Foster, the Five Points South neighborhood association president. 

Henson said it is bringing the nieghborhood closer. 

“That’s a big thing about block watch, neighborhood watch is good because police aren’t always around, but the neighbors are always around,” said Henson. 

And they say they are already seeing a difference.

“When the drug dealer that was in an apartment complex all of a sudden moves because we have people walking around all the time and now it is too many eyes in the area where there weren’t eyes before that’s going to make a difference. It is not just for Five Points but every community,” said Foster. 

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