WHAT IS COMMUNITY WATCH?
COMMUNITY WATCH is a Crime Prevention program that involves citizens working with law enforcement agencies to reduce crime and victimization in their communities. It involves:
- Citizens protecting themselves and their property by using common sense crime prevention practices.
- Neighbors getting to know each other, watching out for each other and acting on or reporting suspicious activities.
- Citizens working with groups, community leaders, and, more importantly, law enforcement agencies to make entire communities safe and free from crime.
CITIZEN ALERT, NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH, BLOCK WATCH, or COMMUNITY WATCH: the names may differ, but the idea is the same. Neighbors looking out for each other.
WHY START A COMMUNITY WATCH
Because law enforcement officers cannot be on every street corner, citizen involvement is necessary to combat crime. You and your neighbors are the ones who really know what is going on in your community. By cooperating with each other and with the police, citizens can help fight crime in the most effective way—preventing the victimization of themselves, their families and friends. You are the key element in fighting crime. GET INVOLVED!
COMMUNITY WATCH WORKS
The goal of COMMUNITY WATCH is to make criminals aware that every move is being watched and will be reported to police.
Across North Carolina, citizens work together to secure their homes, mark their valuables, identify drug dealers, develop child safety programs, and improve the environment in which they and their families live.
TO START A COMMUNITY WATCH
- Contact your local Police or Sheriff’s Office about setting up a COMMUNITY WATCH program. They can assist with information, materials and technical advice. Ask for the Crime Prevention Officer.
- Schedule a meeting with your neighbors in a church, home, community center, fire department, etc.
- Contact every resident in your community and invite them to the meeting. Do this by making door-to-door visits, phone calls, or mailing flyers.
- Invite the Crime Prevention Officer to speak at your first meeting to help get your program started.
- Hold your meeting.
SOME COMMUNITY WATCH ACTIVITIES
Operation I.D. This program involves en-graving your valuable personal property with your driver’s license number thus making it easier to identify if it is stolen. Your local Crime Prevention Officer may be able to supply you with an engraver.
Community Clean-up Sponsor a community clean-up effort with your group. You are already working on cleaning up the crime in your community; make it a beautiful place to live at the same time.
Victim Assistance Should one of your neighbors be victimized, you can know how to help that person. Contact the local victim’s advocate office, the Division of Victim and Justice Services, or the Department of Social Services for more information.
McGRUFF House. Your group may wish to sponsor a McGruff House program for children. This gives children a safe place to go if they feel frightened or threatened.
Community Watch Signs You may wish to purchase signs that identify your community as a place where citizens look after each other. Your local law enforcement agency will be able to assist you.
National Night Out Every year, the National Town Watch Association invites communities to participate in National Night Out Against Crime. Contact your local law enforcement agency for more information.
Awareness Programs There may be some specific crime problems in your neighborhood that your COMMUNITY WATCH group wants to target. Educate your members on such topics as: Drug Abuse Prevention, Sexual Abuse Prevention, Child Abuse Prevention, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and many others. Don’t limit yourselves!
Contact: Maj. J. Brown Jamieson.Brown@randolphcountync.gov