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Benefits Of A Neighborhood Watch Program
- After receiving information residents are more aware of crime.
- Better equipped than the general population to remove or reduce the opportunity for crime.
SERVES AS A WARNING TO CRIMINALS
- Alerts the criminal that the neighborhood is concerned about crime and willing to intervene.
- Warns criminals that they are likely to be observed and reported to the police.
- Encourages neighbors to interact by exchanging information about work schedules, vacation plans and type of vehicles belonging to the homes.
ACCESS TO CRIME DATA
- Access to crime trends that may concern them.
INCREASES ARREST AND CONVICTIONS
- Neighborhood Watch serves as a network through which law enforcement can collect and Disseminate information on crime.
Tips On Getting People Involved
Post posters reminding people about the meeting. (Up to three days prior). Utilize block captains as much as possible. As coordinator you must check the progress of each block captain. One-man shows ultimately move on, leaving no one behind to take over. Don't be afraid to encourage people. Be aggressive. You are selling a product-the security of one's neighborhood, home, family, and self, which is the basic need for everyone; but some people need to be pushed. Hold them accountable for their attendance. Don't take "No" for an answer. Ask what nights they could attend a future meeting. Don't let people take the attitude that they can sit back and let their neighborhood do it. Their participation is necessary for the Neighborhood Watch program to be a success. Seek out and use the resource of your group. For example, who can copy handouts at work, or does anyone have a home computer who can manage a data base or make a newsletter. Expect to suffer some setbacks, but continue to push and show your concern and enthusiasm. It will be contagious.
Responsibilities Of The Coordinator
- Serves as liaison between the Sheriff's Office and the block captains.
- The coordinator is responsible for disseminating information from the Sheriff's Office to the block captains.
- Presides over Neighborhood Watch meetings.
- Directs the activities of the block captains.
- Provides reports to the civic association if one exists.
- Maintains a master list of all watch members.
- Works with block captains to develop specific crime prevention projects for the neighborhood.
- Attends the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator's meetings at the Sheriff's Office.
Responsibilities Of The Neighborhood Watch Block Captains
- Serves as a liaison between the coordinator and the residents.
- Recruits new watch members.
- Assists the coordinator in planning and conducting meetings.
- Maintains accurate and current listing of watch members.
- Assists in maintaining block map information.
- Notifies residents of meetings and training sessions.
- Designates work assignments as needed.
Responsibilities Of The Citizen
- Be active participant in the Neighborhood Watch program activities.
- Secure personal property.
- Report suspicious behavior and/or activities.
- Report criminal activities promptly.
- Cooperate with your block captain.
- Cooperate and support your law enforcement personnel.
- Set a favorable example as a good citizen.
- Educate other family members, particularly children, about crime prevention.
The Role Of The Sheriff's Office
- Maintains contact with the Neighborhood Watch coordinator.
- Notify the coordinator of crime patterns occurring within the neighborhood.
- Meets with neighbors on occasions.
- Provides crime awareness training to residents.
- Serves as a resource for speakers.
- Informs the coordinator of updated prevention methods and programs.
Neighborhood Watch Do's & Don'ts
- Report suspicious activity immediately to the police, not the Neighborhood Watch coordinator.
- Report all crimes to the police.
- Learn what's normal in your neighborhood.
- Take a pro-active stance against crime.
- Encourage others to participate in Neighborhood Watch, invite new residents to join neighborhood watch.
- Attend Neighborhood Watch meetings.
- Obtain full descriptions and license numbers of suspicious people and their vehicles and report immediately to the police.
- Participate in operation identification.
- Don't take the law into your own hands.
- Don't approach suspicious people.
- Don't stop criminals committing crimes.
- Don't pull over cars on patrol or any time.
- Don't take unnecessary risks to obtain information on suspicious people or crimes.
- Don't hesitate to call police.
Hanover County Sheriff's Office
Neighborhood Watch Form
Dear Neighbor:The families of ______________________________are organizing a "Neighborhood Watch Program". This letter will serve to explain just what "Neighborhood Watch" is and is not, why it is worthwhile, and what we will need to do to get it implemented. The objective of this program is simple---it is a no-cost way to reduce crime.
What is a Neighborhood Watch? It is first a willingness to keep one's eyes open and report any suspicious activities (a person loitering , a strange car backed up to your neighbor's garage, etc.) Second, it is marking your valuables i.e. televisions, stereos, etc. with an engraver provided to you. Third, it is suggested that you add to your security of your home deadbolt locks or a security alarm system if appropriate.
What Neighborhood Watch is not! It is not a group of vigilantes-no citizen arrests.
How do I profit from a Neighborhood Watch? It is a no-cost way to simply add to your personal safety and the security of your valuables. Neighborhood Watch signs at the entrance of your subdivision tell criminals that your neighborhood is more concerned about crime and safety than the subdivision up the road. Stickers available for your doors tell thieves your valuables have been marked for identification and persecution.
How is Neighborhood Watch implemented? You will be hearing from one of your neighbors. He or she will ask you two questions:
- Are you willing to report suspicious activities to the Sheriff's Office?
- Would you be willing to take 20-30 minutes to mark your valuables with an engraver we provide?
If you and 60 percent of your neighbors say, "I am!", you are on the way to implementing a "Neighborhood Watch Program" for your subdivision.
What is next? You will be notified of a date, time and location
for a training session conducted by the Hanover County Sheriff's
Office-Crime Prevention Specialist. I would like to participate
in the "Neighborhood Watch Program."
Family Data Sheets
Members of Household (Name), Age, Business Phone #
EMERGENCY PHONE CONTACTS:
Name, Home Phone #, Work Phone #
Golden Rules For Starting A Neighborhood Watch Program
We have advised many people how they can start a Neighborhood Watch program. After meeting with them and giving them all the necessary information, we have seen many people go out and succeed, and we have seen many people go out and fail.
Indeed much of the results depends on the people who are trying to set it up, how hard they are willing to work their attitude, and their abilities as a leader. After many years of examining successes and failures, we have discovered that the most important elements in a successful watch were the actions taken to get people involved, to get them out of their homes to training meetings and out to patrol with the Neighborhood Watch. There are some recommendations we now require to be followed in starting a Neighborhood Watch program:
- Make the initial contact in person. We will normally start off by doing a survey of the community to see if interest exists by handing out material explaining the program. If the surveys are just stuck on the door, only about 10% of the people will complete and return them. Many coordinators trying to set up watch programs have tired just sticking the surveys on the doors, and have interpreted the low response they received as a negative response towards Neighborhood Watch, and have ended their efforts. Personal contact must be made.
- Provide sufficient notification, and a personal reminder. To get people to attend the training meetings, first announce the event about two weeks ahead, ideally by handing them a flyer, or placing it on their door, and by placing signs or posters in the community. Then one or two days prior to the meeting, call them as a reminder. This is very important. Just placing a flyer on their door will result in a low turnout and a sure failure of the meeting. It is easy to forget a meeting. It is also easy to skip it, if you think you are not needed or expected to attend. However, if you have been asked and then reminded to attend, it is hard not to attend.
- Organize the Neighborhood Watch. It is best to have the watch organized in the beginning and to involve others to help set it up. During the initial contact, determine who shows the highest interest and use these people as block captains. The survey can be used to determine this. Ask if they would be willing to serve as block captain. If given the choice of yes no and maybe, these people will mostly answer maybe. How can they say yes without knowing the duties of the job, or without having the training to do it? Then contact the potential block captains advise them that their services are needed, and invite them to a block captain meeting. These are usually informal, at the coordinator's home. By using these block captains to contact their immediate neighbors about the watch program, the coordinator's job is easier. Also, we have noticed that people are more likely to participate if they are approached by an immediate neighbor, someone they see often, even if it is just coming and going. However, they are less likely to respond to the person who lives way down the street, whom they have never seen before. When contacted by their immediate neighbor about the upcoming meeting, it is harder to say no.
The date and location for the next Neighborhood Watch Coordinator’s meeting is:
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Location: Sheriff’s Office-Training Room A @ 7:00 pm