Friday, July 02, 2010

Neighborhood Crime Watch

One of the oldest and best-known crime prevention concepts in North America is called Neighborhood Watch. It is also one of the most efficient and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear. Neighborhood watch is a group of neighbors looking out for their fellow neighbors, and these types of groups have been shown to reduce crime by 50%.

This program empowers homeowners to become active in protecting their community through participation in Neighborhood Watch groups. Residents participate in Neighborhood Watch in their area by organizing residents to communicate any suspicious behavior to others by phone trees and reporting it to the authorities.

Benefits of Neighborhood Watch

•Your risk of being burglarized as well as other crimes such as auto theft, vandalism and personal assault are significantly reduced.
•By helping with this program you help to stretch the tax dollars by helping law enforcement agencies, who are limited in their available manpower.
•Participation causes not only neighborhood crime to go down, but many communities report a new feeling of caring and belonging amongst neighbors. Many have used their combined efforts to improve their streets, recreation opportunities and local services.

If you are interested in starting a neighborhood watch in your community, below are some steps to help you get started!

•Form a small planning committee of neighbors to discuss the needs of your community, gage the level of interest and potential problems, decide on a date and place for an initial Neighborhood Watch meeting
•Contact Your Local Sheriffs Office or Police Department for more information or to arrange a speaker
•Arrange a meeting location close to your neighborhood. It should have enough room to hold your invited neighbors and, if needed, for the use of audio visual aids such as an overhead projector.
• For more information and educational materials related to starting a Neighborhood Watch, visit the program's website.