Neighborhood Crime Watch
Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, Town Watch, Building Watch, Crime Watch - Whatever the name, it's one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear. Neighborhood Watch fights the isolation that crime both creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between law enforcement and the community they serve.
The Hardee County Sheriff's Office hopes to make every neighborhood in Hardee County a "Crime Watch Neighborhood." For more information about starting a Neighborhood Crime Watch in your community, contact Lieutenant Andrew McGuckin at (863) 773-0304 Ext. 219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does a Neighborhood Crime Watch do?
A Neighborhood Watch is neighbors helping each other, being the extra eyes and ears for reporting crime.
Members meet their neighbors, learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report suspicious activity to their local law enforcement agency.
Why Neighborhood Watch?
It works! Throughout the country, dramatic decreases in burglaries and related offenses are reported by law enforcement professionals in communities with active Watch programs.
Today's transient society produces communities that are less personal. Many families have two working parents and children involved in many activities that keep them away from home. An empty house in a neighborhood where none of the neighbors know the owner is a prime target for burglary.
Neighborhood Watch also helps build pride and serves as a springboard for efforts that address other community concerns such as recreation for youth, child care and affordable housing.
How does Neighborhood Watch start?
A motivated individual, a few concerned residents, a community organization, or a law enforcement agency can spearhead the efforts to establish a Neighborhood watch.
- Organize a small planning committee of neighbors to discuss needs, the level of interest and possible community problems
- Contact the Hardee County Sheriff's Office for help in training members in home security, reporting skills and for information on local crime patterns
- Hold an initial meeting to gauge neighbors' interests, establish the purpose of the program and begin to identify issues that need to be addressed.
- Select a Watch coordinator
- Ask for block captain volunteers who are responsible for relaying information to members
- Recruit members, keeping up to date information on new residents and making special efforts to involve the elderly, working parents and young people
- Work with local government or law enforcement to put up Neighborhood Watch signs, usually after 50 percent of households are enrolled
I live in an apartment building, can I start a Neighborhood Watch?
Yes, Watch Groups can be formed around any geographical unit, such as a block, apartment building, townhouse complex, park, business area, public housing complex or an office building.
What are my responsibilities as a Watch Member?
- Be alert
- Know your neighbors and watch out for each other
- Report suspicious activities and crimes to your local law enforcement agency
- Learn how you can make yourself and your community safer
What kind of activities should I be on the lookout for as a Watch Member?
- Someone screaming or shouting for help
- Someone looking in windows of houses or parked cars
- Property being taken out of homes where no one is at home or from closed businesses
- Vehicles moving slowly with no apparent destination or without lights on
- Anyone being forced into a vehicle
- A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child