Recently, Neighborhood Watch has been in the news and we thought it might be helpful to share a review of the best practices for this helpful program which can bring the police and community together to make a difference in the safety and health of our neighborhood.
Neighborhood Watch programs are aimed at PREVENTING crime and begin with taking an inventory of your valuables/high-risk items to increase your chance of recovery in the event of a loss. It also means being smart and securing your property and making it less vulnerable. It means WATCHING OUT FOR one another by reporting suspicious persons, vehicles and activities to the police, NOT by taking action and thereby endangering yourself or others.
Remember – activities you may perceive as “suspicious” could actually be legitimate. However if it is “suspicious” or unusual and you are concerned, call the police and LET THEM DO THEIR JOB. The police are the trained professionals in this instance. Learn how to observe and report suspicious activity, do not become part of a police report or news story.
DOWNLOAD THE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH & CRIME PREVENTION BOOKLET HERE. It contains helpful documents & information including tips and forms for taking an inventory or reporting graffiti, safety tips to secure your home whether it is occupied or when you are away, in-depth discussion of locks, securing windows (all types!), alarms and how to report a crime. A How To Report a Crime section gives several good descriptions of what is suspicious and why and also tells you what kind of descriptions are most helpful to the police. It also contains a helpful description of bet practices in the event you are interacting with the police while driving or walking.