Neighborhood Watch (NW) is an effective way that citizens can work together with law enforcement to help reduce crimes from occurring in their neighborhoods. NW is not only for neighborhoods, it can work effectively for apartments, condos, or schools. It teaches citizens techniques to reduce the chances of being victimized, how to recognize suspicious activities, it allows neighbors to get to know one another, and it organizes a neighborhood of concerned citizens.
Please remember that Neighborhood Watch is not a vigilante force that works outside of law enforcement and joining NW is not a solution to the problems in your community. Never put yourself or members of your family in harms way. Do not take personal risks to prevent crime.
Starting a Neighborhood Watch
Starting a NW Program in your neighborhood is quick and easy. Ask your neighbors if they are interested in starting a group. Hold a meeting and select the Block Captain for your group. Once your group has been established you can vote on having meeting every month, every other month, or quarterly. Meetings do not need to take any longer than 30 minutes.
Once you’ve started your NW group, you need to keep your group active. You can do that by having meeting dedicated to crime prevention topics such as:
Drug / alcohol abuse
You can also keep your group active by organizing community events such as:
Having a neighborhood garage sale
Having a block party
Checking up on the elderly in your neighborhood
Carpooling to work or to the store
If a Crime Occurs - Report It
About half of all crimes are reported. Law enforcement can not do anything if they do now know what happened. Call the police if you see a crime occurring or if you see any suspicious activity. Suspicious activity can be anything that seems unusual or out of the ordinary. Tell the police as much as you can about the incident. Write down what you see so that you will not forget the information about the suspect or his / her car. Any information that you may have can be very valuable in apprehending the suspect.