What is a Neighborhood Crime Watch?
A Neighborhood Crime Watch is a crime prevention and intervention program where concerned citizens work with the Williamsport Police using observe and report tactics to safeguard their neighborhoods. A neighborhood watch is one of the most effective and cost efficient ways of reducing and/or preventing residential property crimes.
The focus is on citizen involvement, with a neighborhood and community based effort designed to assist all citizens and the police in reducing crime while providing an overall increased sense of peace, safety and security in the neighborhood involved.
The program’s success is hinged on improving communication between neighbors and achieving and sustaining an appropriate level of neighbor involvement to the point where all residents realize a reduction and/or achieve prevention of burglaries, drugs, guns, gangs, and other crimes.
Goals of Neighborhood Crime Watch:
1. To increase awareness of the crime in your neighborhood
2. To implement various safety and residential security strategies in order to make the community and neighborhood more secure and less likely to be targeted for crime.
3. To help neighbors recognize signs of suspicious and criminal activity and report them to police. Remember: You are not the police.
4. To develop and utilize a communication network within the neighborhood for the purposes of informing neighbors of criminal and suspicious activity and other neighborhood oriented concerns. Set up a phone tree.
Why Do We Need A Neighborhood Watch
We must agree that the quality of life in our city and community is everyone’s business. We are individually and collectively responsible for the safety and security of our families, our youth, our neighborhood, our homes, and ourselves. The neighborhood crime watch is a crime prevention and crime intervention program that enhances neighborhoods and communities in many aspects. Concerned neighbors, safer communities, and communication among neighbors are just a few of the enhancements that the neighborhood watch will provide. Most importantly, it costs nothing but time to be involved.
How Do I Start A Neighborhood Watch?
You’ve probably already talked with some neighbors at the grocery store, on the sidewalk, at the bus stop or across the kitchen table about things that are going on in your neighborhood. You know that people are unhappy about the current crime situation and they want to see their concerns addressed.
To put a plan of action in place, you must do the following:
1. Organize the concerned citizens
2. Set up a meeting to decide how you can provide solutions to the problem
3. Contact your city police department to get them involved.
4. Involve other community-oriented agencies.
5. Invite people personally, by phone, knock on doors and distributing flyers.
Here are 10 Things You Can Do to help out and get involved;
1. Teach children how to reduce their risk of being victims of violent crime. Insist on knowing where your children are at all times, what they are doing and who they are with.
2. Get involved. Volunteer to help in community and neighborhood anti-crime and other community improvement efforts. Encourage groups you belong to —religious, civic, social — to help stop crime.
3. Use common sense tips to reduce your risk of becoming a victim. Stay in well lighted, busy areas; travel with friends if possible, walk in a confident, assured way. Avoid known trouble spots.
4. Report crimes and suspicious activity to police; agree to testify when necessary. Stand up for what you believe in, if you want a safe community.
5. Get to know your neighbors and agree to look out for each other. Get organized; work with police.
6. Find easy to settle arguments without violence. If you resort to violence to settle disputes, this is what you will teach your children.
7. Use common courtesy. It helps ease tensions that can lead to violence. Teach your kids that good manners are important.
8. Don’t carry a weapon. You lose, whether you use it or if it’s used on you.
9. Don’t support illegal activities, like buying stolen property or using illegal drugs. It’s the wrong message to send to your child, and it involves you in criminal activity.
8. Volunteer your home as a "safe place" and reliable source of information for children who are scared or in need of assistance.