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Home > Security News > Community Watch for Home and Neighborhood Security
Community Watch for Home and Neighborhood Security

Neighborhood watch programs are an excellent way to help promote safety and unity among fellow residents within your neighborhood. The main goal of a neighborhood watch is to make sure that everyone living there helps to look out for any suspicious or even potential criminal activity. Its goal is to also raise awareness among neighbors about what to look out for, and to help share any instances of crime so that people know what is happening within the neighborhood. People are then encouraged to report any activity they encounter to law officials. In 1964, a woman by the name of Kitty Genovese was brutally murdered and raped in her neighborhood in Queens, New York. Sadly, many reports stated that her neighbors stood there, watching the crime take place and failed to take action which could have saved her life. Because of this tragic event, some people decided to band together and develop a plan that would encourage neighbors to help and protect one another known as neighborhood watch.

There are several things every day citizens can do to help keep their neighborhoods safe. By following these simple tips, everyone has a better chance of protecting their homes, families, and neighbors. Here are some tips to help you when working with your local neighborhood watch:

  1. Post neighborhood watch signs around the area. These signs help to deter criminals and keep them out because they know that the people living there are keeping an eye out.
  2. If there are recurring problems, they should be addressed immediately. These issues should be reported to the police without delay. They should also be made public to the other members of the neighborhood watch program.
  3. Be sure that residents create a strong bond between themselves and the police. Establishing a positive relationship can help the police get a better idea of the concerns and needs of your specific neighborhood. They can also serve as role models for younger residents of the neighborhood and encourage them to not be afraid to talk to the police if they see crime happening.
  4. Any organization needs a strong leader. Make sure you choose or elect someone who will be able to take charge, provide everyone with updates, and have a good handle on what is going on in the neighborhood. They should also be able to unite everyone and create a sense of oneness between volunteers.
  5. Come up with some good projects that will get everyone involved in improving the neighborhood. Some examples include painting over graffiti, picking up trash, or building or repairing a neighborhood playground.
  6. Make it a rule of thumb to call 911 if anyone sees anything suspicious. Teach members to write down things like the person’s ethnicity, gender, weight, license plate number (if applicable), and what they were wearing at the time of the call.
  7. Go door to door and recruit fellow neighborhood watch members. You can create a flyer to help explain to everyone the purpose of the group.
  8. Get with local businesses to see if you can form a partnership. This could be a local housing authority, community development company, or even local shops.
  9. Be sure you arrange for regular meetings so that everyone is up to speed on what is happening in the neighborhood. These meetings are a great way to meet new members and keep up with what is happening.
  10. Get crime records for your neighborhood so you know what you are dealing with. The local police can often provide you with recent crime statistics for your zip code.
  11. Think about several safety-related topics to address for each meeting and/or newsletter. Some good topics include teenage drinking, street signs, animal control, how to spot suspicious activity, fire prevention, and home security tips, to name a few.
  12. If your neighbors are going out of town, make sure they notify other neighbors so they can pay special attention to their homes while they are away. If someone would be willing to take in their mail and newspaper, it would be helpful as well.
  13. Educate neighbors about simple safety topics like car safety. Be sure to remind everyone to lock their car doors, and to park in well-lit areas or inside their garage to help keep auto related crime to a minimum.
  14. When new neighbors move in, be welcoming and friendly. Introduce yourself, and let them know about the program and that they can join as well if they are interested.
  15. Form a citizen patrol that will work as a team to make sure everything is safe within your neighborhood. They can wear uniforms when walking through the neighborhood or choose to remain anonymous and inconspicuous. Either way they will be serving the neighborhood well by keeping an eye on everything going on.

For more information on neighborhood watch as well as helpful safety tips, please refer to the following websites:

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