Neighborhood safety is often a main concern of homeowners. Unfortunately, even the safest neighborhoods are susceptible to crime. As a community, it is important to take action to prevent crime in your neighborhood. One way you can reduce crime is through a neighborhood watch group. Here are few tips from the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) that will help your neighborhood watch group succeed.
Work with Your Police Department
By working with your local police or sheriff’s office you can increase the credibility of your watch group. Your police department can provide useful information and training on topics such as crime prevention, responding to crime and how to assist victims.
Successful watch groups have one thing in common: a strong following. To increase your group’s following seek out members through door-to-door canvassing. Ask retirees or neighbors who work from home to be on the lookout for suspicious activity during the day. Encourage everyone in your community to install and use outdoor lights and video surveillance systems. You can find an installation company here.
Hold Member Meetings
It is crucial that members get to know one another. Hold meetings regularly (at least once a month) so members can voice their concerns and the group can develop strategies to prevent crime. Ask local officials or public figures to attend a watch group meeting and speak about specific crime problems in your area.
Team up with a church hall or community center and host a crime prevention fair. Encourage and work with small businesses or local associations to repair rundown storefronts and clean up littered streets. Not only will these activities unite your community, but they will also spread awareness about stopping crime in your area.
Remember, the role of a watch group is watching and reporting. Members should not consider themselves vigilantes or unofficial police officers. Together with your police department, you can help keep crime off of your streets. For more information on starting a neighborhood watch group, click here.