by Kim Powell
BIG SPRING - It's no telling the power of social media; just a few days ago, it helped Midland Crime Stoppers nab a peeping tom. But what if there was a way neighbors could help neighbors be aware of what's going on in their area? Sort of like a digital neighborhood crime watch.
Well, that's one what Big Spring resident and his friends have come up with--a Facebook group called Big Spring Crime Watch. Jason Havens, who did not want to speak on camera in fear of retaliation, says they created the group so that everyone can know what's happening as it's happening.
"This is a more instantaneous way to get that information available so that they know what to look for in their area and who to look out for," Havens explained.
The group is completely private and all members have to go through a background check in an effort to keep the group safe.
"We don't just let anybody in because if the criminals know what we're saying then they know what to look out for, they know who has cameras and who don't (sic), they know who's watching and who's not, they know who's home and who's not," Havens said.
Once a member, you can alert anyone in the group about crime happening nearby, whether it be a burglary in progress or shots fired.
"We don't advise anybody to go out of their way and put themselves in danger by any means," Havens said. "But you know, if they see something, call it in."
Havens said he created the group after noticing the increase in crime in Howard County, and is using it as a way to be an assistance to authorities.
"You know, the cops are doing their thing and they're doing the best they can, and you know we give them all the credit in the world. That's one thing we don't do is slander the police because we know they're out there doing everything they can," Havens said. "But given the low numbers in law enforcement and the high numbers in crime that's committed, they can't keep up."