How You Can Start a Neighbourhood Crime Watch in Your Area
Due to the ever-increasing crime rate, communities not just in the UK alone, but all over the world have now formed their very own protection brigades. In fact, most of these Neighbourhood Crime Watch Programs have been designed to help cut down local crime. They can help do this by involving different members of the community to keep watch and patrol the streets.
As a general rule, such programs are a direct result of sudden and severe surges in crime rates in a particular locality. This prompts the people to band together to form community protection programs to keep an eye on strangers and suspicious people in the locality. Here is how you can go about setting up such a program in your own community as well:
Plan an Initial Meeting
This meeting is very important because it will help to ascertain the exact level of interest in the whole community. When you decide to canvas and ‘sound out’ your neighbourhood, you should include as many local area members as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask teenagers, tenants, and even local businesses for help.
Pick Your Captain
The captain of your crime watch should be a well-respected and stalwart member of the community. Moreover, he should be the kind of person who would be both willing and able to take charge, as an when required. Retired cops and soldiers make great captains because they are self-starters and have been trained not to panic in any untoward situation.
Obtain ‘Up to Date’ Contact Information
You should make an Excel worksheet of all the members of the watch program. The sheet should be checked periodically for current contact numbers and addresses off the members of the watch.
Contact the Local Law Enforcement Agencies
Once you have your volunteer network in place, you should proceed to get in touch with the local law enforcement agency. You should ask them to extend their co-operation and guide you through any emergency situation that your team members might have to face.
Set up an Area Community Notification System
The key to all successful neighbourhood anti-crime programs lies in fostering excellent communication among the respective members. They should always be updated regarding patrol rosters, meeting times and places as well as who to contact in case of an emergency.
While it is better to be armed with a smartphone and a whistle, in case it’s a particularly dangerous neighbourhood, the local crime watch members should be allowed to carry their legal weapons as long as they know how to use them, and they practice diligently at the local shooting range.
Once you have the crime patrol up and running, you have to keep it motivated and energized by including new members every time old ones drop out.