Neighborhood Watch Tips

Read these 5 Neighborhood Watch Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home Security tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Do police officers attend your meetings and communicate with the group?

Neighborhood Watch And Local Police

An essential part of a neighborhood watch program is maintaining a relationship with the local police department. If you are starting a new group they can help you get going.

Police departments work with local groups in a number of ways. They will usually have a few officers act as liaisons to assist you. They can be your conduits for relaying community issues and concerns to the police in the area and provide neighborhood watch tips.

If a member of the crime watch observes suspicious persons or activity they can alert local law enforcement. Ask for their help in organizing local community events, self-defense classes and other helpful seminars.

Another important service they may be able to provide is web-based. See if they can provide useful tips and content for a neighborhood crime watch web site. This can have information on both your group and the local police department aimed at educating and informing people of what is happening in the community.

Getting a police officer to attend your meetings is a good way of showing people that the group is serious about safeguarding the community. It also creates a more constructive relationship with the police department and increases the effectiveness of your efforts.

   
Do you try and stop burglars yourself?

Crime Watch Is Not A Police Force

The absolute most important thing to remember as part of a neighborhood crime watch is that you are not the police! Community groups are meant to work with the police to make neighborhoods safer; they are not meant to act as police.

Officers have training and experience and they are the only ones who should approach criminals or attempt to intervene in the commission of a crime. As a member of a neighborhood watch program, it should be your goal to help communicate with local law enforcement and let them handle criminal activity.

Self-defense classes and weapons do not substitute for years of training, experience and judgment. Police work is very dangerous and should be left to professionals.

Your focus should be on safeguarding the neighborhood through home security systems, escort/driving services for safe traveling at night, adequate street and yard lighting, and other home safety issues.

If you see a crime being committed do the smart thing and contact your local police department. Do not attempt to stop a burglar yourself. The best thing you can do is protect your home with good burglar alarms and communicate regularly with other watch members.

   
Are there signs in your neighborhood letting people know there is a watch group?

The Sign Says: Neighborhood Watch!

As new people move into your area it is important to let them know there is a neighborhood crime watch. It is important to make this fact known to criminals as well.

By posting signs and fliers throughout the community you can attract new people to join the group and increase visibility. Burglars passing through often keep on moving when they see that such a group exists.

Post these neighborhood watch signs and fliers in highly visible areas where both residents and burglars alike can see them. Here are some key places to post them.

  • Church and recreation center bulletin boards
  • Local grocery stores
  • Outside local schools and daycare centers
  • On telephone poles in major town intersections
  • Outside the local Post Office
  • In community shopping centers and restaurants
  • At the local police station
Make sure to include helpful information on these signs like emergency phone numbers and contact information. If your watch group has a Web site include the address. Also include upcoming meetings along with time and location so interested parties can attend and get more information.

   
Have you asked police officers for recommendations?

Home Security Assessments

Neighborhood watch programs should coordinate with local law enforcement to help with home security inspections in the community. A police officer can come to the homes of your members to make sure they are taking the proper security precautions in their houses.

A police officer will be the first one to tell you how important it is to have a home security system installed. They can also look for any areas where your security might be lacking and recommend equipment that you can add to compliment your burglar alarms.

Protect America is one of the leading alarm companies and provides additional equipment that can be added to any package, such as motion detectors, flood detectors, extra door/window sensors and emergency panic buttons.

By having your neighborhood crime watch maintain a good relationship and communicate with the police you can benefit from their expertise. They know the type of crime in your area and how to combat it. Then relay their advice to one of Protect America's security experts and they can set you up with the right package for your home.

   
Do you hold regular meetings?

Crime Watch Meetings

An effective neighborhood crime watch has to employ good communication. In order to have that the members must meet regularly and discuss issues related to their community. Scheduling regular group meetings is the first step.

These meetings should be a forum to voice concerns and issues on the minds of your neighbors, but they can also serve other important purposes. They can provide a means of identifying problem areas in the neighborhood, creating watch patrol schedules, and more. They can also be used as seminars on self-defense or other services offered by local law enforcement.

If you have a set location for these meetings that‘s great, but don‘t worry if you do not.. You can always alternate locations by holding them in different members' homes. This will often make people more comfortable and encourage them to become more involved.

Whether you choose to have weekly, bi-weekly or monthly meetings is up to the community. Emergency meetings can be called as needed, and a web site forum can help members communicate in between gatherings. Create a blog or forum online where community members can discuss all kinds of topics related to the community and neighborhood watch tips.

   
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