For communities that want to protect themselves and their homes from burglars, there are many benefits and advantages to starting a neighbourhood watch program. This type of home security precaution, which is also called a crime watch, block watch or community watch, can provide an extra level of home security in an area where crime has become an issue. It is also effective in communities where burglaries are not a major problem because it helps prevent these types of crimes from occurring in the future. There are many advantages to this type of security program, including a reduced risk of crime, better communication with local law enforcement agencies and an increased sense of community.
The first benefit of a neighbourhood watch home security program is a reduced risk of crime and less burglaries in the area. Criminals that see these efforts, including signs or posters that advertise this type of home security measure, are much less likely to try to commit a robbery. If the burglar still attempts to break into a home, the chances of success are much less because the community members will be more vigilant and watching for unusual activity or listening for strange noises. For home owners that are going out of town, the neighbours can keep an extra eye on their property and help protect it while they are away.
Additional benefits of neighbourhood watch programs include a better relationship with the local law enforcement agency and increased communication. In many areas, these departments are understaffed and overworked. The community watch program can help alleviate some of the pressure on the local police. Many times these law enforcement agencies can support the watch program by providing basic training, equipment and even officers to help run and oversee the program. These law enforcement agents can attend meetings, provide feedback, suggestions and reports on any current local crime problems or issues. They can also provide information about crime in nearby communities that may impact the local watch program.
Finally, another benefit of a neighbourhood watch is an increased sense of community. These programs allow neighbours in the area to get to know each other, which can be a difficult task in a modern age when individuals are busy with work, children and other activities of daily life. A watch program will encourage social interaction among neighbours and can help create lifelong friendships among the adults and children in the community.