Residents restart neighborhood watch group

By: Laura Geller - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Citizens in the Oakview-Meadowdale area off Beulah Road are re-establishing their neighborhood watch group after they say crime has started to threaten their quiet way of life.

The neighborhood watch group had been an institution in the area for decades but in the last several years, residents seemed to give up on the effort and now they say they're dealing with loitering, vandalism and robberies.

"This neighborhood is beautiful," said resident Frances Banks. "Everyone should live in a neighborhood like ours.

In the last couple years residents say they've been dealing with issues they never thought they'd see here.

Joan Lyons says she's watched as youngsters dealt drugs right on a nearby corner.

"We would see like a car pull up and in a short time there would appear to be an exchange of something and then that car would leave and people would just hang here," she said.

After a recent violent street robbery, Lyons says the neighbors sprang into action and reinstated the neighborhood watch that had been inactive for seven years.

"This is my neighborhood and we're families here," said Lyons. "We love our neighborhood and we want to keep it safe for our children and for everyone that lives here."

They're using Saturday's Spring Fling Cookout as a recruiting event to get more residents involved.

Shanta Williams has not joined yet but thinks it could help facilitate communication.

She wants her neighbors to know her brothers and the other teenagers who live on this street are not the cause of the problems.

She says she watches as outsiders hang out and bring in trouble.

"I don't really think it's the people that live here because I don't think they would mess up their own neighborhood, make their street look bad," she said. "They want to make it more difficult for anyone to give this area a bad name."

The group meets the second Tuesday of every other month.

The next gathering is May 11th at the Oak Grove Baptist Church.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.