Neighborhood Crime Watch is a group of neighbors looking out for each other. It is getting to know each other and becoming familiar with your neighbors' habits and vehicles so that you will know when something is suspicious or out of the ordinary.
In addition to recognizing potential suspicious activities, Crime Watch participants report such activity by calling the police. All of this doesn't make you a nosy neighbor - it makes you a good neighbor in the old-fashioned sense of the word.
A Neighborhood Crime Watch is one of the most effective ways to prevent crime in your area. Here is how to get a Crime Watch started in your neighborhood.
Decide on the area the Crime Watch group will be responsible for - it could be a street, block, or neighborhood.
Select a block captain and a coordinator to be responsible for welcoming new neighbors and telling them about the program. Ensure they will relay information to the police and members, organize meetings and distribute materials.
Utilize social media (Facebook, Twitter, NextDoor) to recruit and organize meetings and activities.
Hold a Neighborhood Crime Watch meeting once a year with your local Police Department's Crime Watch Coordinator to learn new ideas and to reinforce your Neighborhood Crime Watch program.
When In Doubt, Call 9-1-1
Many people don't want to bother the police because they are afraid that it may not be a real emergency or that they may be embarrassed if their suspicions turn out to be unfounded. The police would much rather be called out to investigate than to be notified after a crime has been committed. When in doubt, always call 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 dispatch center is staffed with trained operators who will evaluate your call, rank its priority and dispatch it to the appropriate officer.
Don't Put Yourself At Risk
Don't take unnecessary chances by attempting to confront the suspicious person. Crime Watch does not mean being a vigilante. Participants do not confront suspects or take any personal risks at all.