Residents in Society Hill hire private security to deter crime

The goal of the Delancey Town Watch isn't just to prevent violent crime, but also to deter petty crimes like vandalism and theft.

Christie Ileto Image
Friday, May 19, 2023
Residents in Society Hill hire private security to deter crime
A group of residents in Society Hill have pooled their money to have an extra set of eyes and ears on their blocks.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- We've seen private security companies patrolling business districts in Philadelphia.

But now it's becoming a trend in some residential pockets.

Some residents in the city's Society Hill neighborhood have pooled their money to have an extra set of eyes and ears on their blocks.

Their goal isn't just to prevent violent crime, but also to deter petty crimes like vandalism and theft.

Last April, we reported vandals slashed tires and smeared feces on vehicles at 5th and Lombard streets.

By the summer, a gunman had opened fire hitting a UPS truck at 3rd and Delancey streets.

Later that year, there were two separate shootings on nearby South Street.

And this week, a vandal was caught on camera targeting a historic house, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

That along with the ongoing violent crime across the city prompted residents in Society Hill to form the Delancey Town Watch this year.

"We're taking some ownership in our own public safety where we're not just dependent upon our city officials, law enforcement," said Joe Dain, the co-organizer of the Delancey Town Watch.

The two-man security team -- one in the car and one on foot -- will patrol a five square block radius, starting Thursday through Sunday every week until the end of the summer.

It's a growing trend that business districts in the city like Fishtown have already been doing.

Now other residents are following suit.