Neighborhood Watch - Why It Should Matter To You
Have you thought about organizing a Neighborhood Watch program in your local area? If you haven't you should consider it and we tell you why.
About Neighborhood Watch
Neighborhood Watch is a national program that extends to neighborhoods across the country! It's mission is to unite neighbors and reduce crime. On the National Neighborhood Watch site it explains,
"In essence, Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program that stresses education and common sense (Stegenga 2000). It teaches citizens how to help themselves by identifying and reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. In addition, it provides citizens with the opportunity to make their neighborhoods safer and improve the quality of life. Neighborhood Watch groups typically focus on observation and awareness as a means of preventing crime and employ strategies that range from simply promoting social interaction and "watching out for each other" to active patrols by groups of citizens (Yin, et al., 1976).
Most neighborhood crime prevention groups are organized around a block or a neighborhood and are started with assistance from a law enforcement agency. Volunteers who donate their time and resources are typically at the center of such programs, since many do not have a formal budget or source of funding. One study (Garofalo and McLeod, 1988) found that most Neighborhood Watches were located in areas that contained high percentages of single-family homes, little or no commercial establishments, and residents who had lived at their current address for more than five years. This study also found that most of the programs used street signs to show the presence of the program to potentially deter any would-be criminals.
All Neighborhood Watches share one foundational idea: that bringing community members together to reestablish control of their neighborhoods promotes an increased quality of life and reduces the crime rate in that area."
How To Organize Neighborhood Watch
Starting a neighborhood watch group isn't as difficult as you may think. It starts with getting to know your neighbors and finding support. An easy start is gathering a contact list of interested neighbors with name and phone number. The Neighborhood Watch site details how to start a local neighborhood watch :
Recruit and Organize as many neighbors as possible
It is wonderful that you are taking the steps to start a Neighborhood Watch group in your neighborhood. The first step is talking to your fellow neighbors about starting a group.
Contact your local law enforcement agency and schedule a meeting
The next step is contacting your local law enforcement agency. Invite them to meet with your group at a time and place convenient for your Watch Group. It is essential for your group to work in collaboration with law enforcement because Neighborhood Watch is a cooperative effort.
Discuss community concerns and develop an action plan
If law enforcement is unavailable to come to the first meeting you might want to have a meeting to discuss the concerns and issues in the neighborhood. Your group should create a plan on how to work towards lessening the impact of the top 3 concerns of neighbors.
There are wonderful resources that you can use to guide you. Become a National Neighborhood Watch Member to gain access. Click here to join today.
Create a communication plan
It is important to decide what type of communication will work for your watch group - meetings or social media or both. Our publication on Advances in Technology Take Watch Groups to the Next Level will help you to understand what resources are out there.
Take Action: Hold Meetings and Events
Neighborhood Watch Toolkit has a number of wonderful training topics and meeting ideas that can be useful to your group.
Crime Statistics To Be Aware Of
A study done about Neighborhood Watch found that, "The main findings...showed that neighborhood watch was effective in reducing crime, with most of the other evaluations having uncertain effects. The main findings of the meta-analysis were that 15 of the 18 studies provided evidence that neighborhood watch reduced crime."
Keylock Storage recently did a post on home security found HERE. In this, article, Keylock highlighted a KTVB investigative piece that asked 86 inmates about home burglaries. Some of their answers revolved around when they tried to burglarize homes and how they did it. KTVB reported the questions and answers:
"What time of the day did you prefer to break in?
Burglars prefer breaking in early morning or afternoon.
“Between 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Anyone that was home for lunch should be gone by then and most kids should all still be in school,” wrote a convicted burglar...
Did you typically knock on the front door before breaking into a home?
Yes. All of the inmates who responded said they would knock on the front door before breaking in."
Neighborhood Watch - Why It Should Matter To You
In conclusion, neighborhood watch is an essential organization that helps keep neighborhoods and homes safe. And consequently, this all works together to keep homeowners safe. No matter how safe your neighborhood - you can find value in your local neighborhood watch!
In addition, you can visit Keylock Storage Blog for more interesting articles about organization and lifestyle: keylockstorage.com/blogs