How to Form a Neighborhood Watch: Resources for Parents

How to Form a Neighborhood Watch: Resources for Parents

Many people form or join neighborhood watch groups in order to contribute to the safety of their own neighborhoods. A neighborhood watch group is made up of the people living in a particular area. These neighbors have made a commitment to help law enforcement to keep their neighborhood safe. The members of neighborhood watch groups look for any suspicious activities going on in the area and watch the houses of neighbors who are out of town. Neighborhood watch groups meet regularly to discuss various things happening in the neighborhood as well as to bring up any concerns. Furthermore, the members of a neighborhood watch group may plan barbecues or other activities to get to know all of their neighbors. Neighbors who know one another will be more successful in protecting the safe environment of the area they live in.

Some neighborhood watch groups are created in response to crimes that have occurred in the area. The people who live there may be fed up with the presence of wrong-doers in their neighborhood and join together to protect the place where they live. Other neighborhood watch groups are started because neighbors want to discourage any criminal activity in the area. Neighborhood watch signs posted in prominent places serve to alert criminals that the people living there are watching for any suspicious activities. They are a cohesive group who won’t tolerate any illegal activities in or around their homes. Some criminals who are looking for a neighborhood to steal from or cause trouble in, will avoid one with a neighborhood watch group.

One of the first steps in starting a neighborhood watch group is to ask other neighbors if they would be interested in joining the group. The key to a successful neighborhood watch group is active participation and communication. Another important step in beginning a neighborhood watch group is contacting the local police department for advice and guidance. Observant members of a neighborhood watch group can be of tremendous help to local police. Consequently, the police will often send an officer to talk with the new neighborhood watch group to get them started in the right direction. He or she will also tell the watch group members what they can do to help the police. Of course, a police officer will tell the members never to put themselves in harm’s way when they see suspicious activity in the neighborhood. In addition to discussing those topics, a police officer can help a neighborhood watch group to establish its boundaries. The territory of a neighborhood watch group could consist of a block or two of houses. During the first neighborhood watch group meeting, the phone numbers and names of the participants should be collected so everyone can be in contact. Neighborhood concerns can be discussed and members can get to know one another. Regular meetings of a neighborhood watch group will help the members to become acquainted and comfortable with one another. The following resources are for both parents and kids who want to contribute to making their neighborhood safe by participating in a neighborhood watch group.