Weeding your neighborhood of the crime by starting an active neighborhood watch group is an excellent action plan. It is not just about protecting your family and grounds. It also entails extending the behavior to the whole neighborhood with an active partnership with the people next door.
The concept of neighborhood watch programs began in the late 1960s when residential crime skyrocketed. The idea was given shape by the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA). Since its inception until now, over 40% of American households are part of neighborhood watch programs that, besides combating crime, also ensure holistic growth of the community by instilling a sense of unity and welfare.
How To Start A Neighborhood Watch
Being part of the community requires active participation by the local citizens to make the organization effective. The larger the numbers, the broader and more robust your network is. Here are a few plans to get your neighborhood watch program started.
- Spread the news among the community about the plans to initialize the watch program. Pick out the enthusiast who is willing to cover the extra mile for you and rope them in to promote the group further. Door-to-door visits prove to generate a better outcome than a public announcement.
- Launch your neighborhood watch program with active support from the local community. As a community gathering, organize the launch and the successive meetings in places that support group meetings, aiming for a comfortable environment where all can interact with one another.
- Update the community about the laws and duties that they need to take care of. The people must notice the suspecting cases and take adequate action when the time comes.
- Seek help from law enforcement officers and social workers. Training from a trained officer will help to achieve a deeper degree of responsibility and understanding of the situation at hand. Likewise, a social worker can relay how to approach people victimized by criminal activities or who need medical help.
- Build a community feeling within the citizens. As a first step towards building community, bring everyone on the same platform where you can relay messages to each other and raise concerns at the same time.
- Discuss measures that the team can undertake to improve the safety of the locality. Installing surveillance cameras do offer great help in the front. A security camera can monitor things gone wrong.
- Deploying an emergency core team available to respond in case of emergencies immediately is also an essential part of improving safety. It is also wise to add lighting to unlit areas.
- Rope in people of all age groups. Building a community involves all the local citizens. Moreover, each has expertise in a specific area. Try to make the meetings enjoyable for all and train according to the age group. Instilling the knowledge that differentiates between good and evil in the children can help them distinguish the act beforehand and report it to parents or other authorities.
- Divide and conquer. If the community expands to a larger region, it is challenging to undertake equal enthusiasm. Let alone the unity among the members. Hence, it is better to divide the area into smaller groups appointing a leader to lead the region.
Neighborhood safety is not just a concern of police personnel. The responsibility lies in the hands of the citizens, who can together make the area safer for both children and elders alike by uniting upfront to report suspicious activity and crimes that threaten public safety.