Benefits of Neighborhood BlockWatch Program

The eight most important benefits of being involved in your own Neighborhood Watch Program are:

1. Neighborhood policing by you and your neighbors, together, with your own police or sheriff, creates a greater sense of security, well-being, and a reduction of fear of crime because you know you and your neighbors will look out for each other. Most law enforcement agencies are limited in their available manpower; you help stretch that tax dollar, and add eyes, ears, and even noses by your involvement in Neighborhood Watch.

2. Reduce the risk of being a crime victim. You are taught how to take preventive measures that substantially decrease the likelihood of becoming a crime victim. Not only does Neighborhood Watch reduce the risk of your home being burglarized, the instances of other crimes such as vandalism, graffiti, personal assault, auto theft, and other personal crimes decrease.

3. The Neighborhood Watch program trains you how to observe and report suspicious activities occurring in your neighborhood. It trains you on what information law enforcement officers need when you report a crime and why. It trains you to detect illegal activities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

4. Knowing your neighbors is an important feature and benefit of this program. You get to know participants' regular patterns so you can see when something is unusual. You get to know how to contact them quickly. You get to know when they are on vacation, when they are away at work, and who the occupants of their home are. Being aware of that which is going on in your neighborhood is not invading anyone's privacy or snooping. It is guarding against any trouble or any situation which could be dangerous to your neighborhood. It simply comes down to our motto, "We look out for each other."

5. You have greater access to criminal activity information. Neighborhood Watch programs are designed to keep participants informed of crime trends and patterns so they will be better prepared to spot criminal activity in their neighborhood.

6. Participants get ongoing training in how to protect themselves. In the early 1980s the terms "Carjacking" and "ATM victims" were not even in our vocabulary. Neighborhood Watch provides training on vehicle theft, travel safety, personal safety, identity theft, and much more. Do you or someone you know have a car alarm or an anti-theft device installed or other protections for you, as a driver, or for your vehicle? Do you now carry an ATM card? And do you sometimes do your banking at odd hours? Neighborhood Watch provides training for these issues.

7. Posting Neighborhood Watch signs on your street, and labels or decals in your windows tells a criminal that (a) you are not an easy target, (b) they are probably being watched, and (c) you have taken the steps necessary to deter crime in your neighborhood. Convicted burglars report avoiding neighborhoods that have Neighborhood Watch signs posted.

8. Address issues of mutual interest by getting together with your neighbors on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, or when you wish). These meetings can be for crime prevention, fire prevention, local planning, social gatherings, or other projects. As a community organization already working together as a Neighborhood Watch group, you can get things done.