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Neighborhood Watch

Why Starting a Neighborhood Watch is a Good IdeaJuly 1, 2014

Has your neighborhood considered starting a neighborhood watch? Many communities across the country have taken part in neighborhood crime watch programs, and have discovered the benefits of doing so. Here are a few reasons why your community should consider starting one.

Reduce Crime

This is the most obvious benefit of a neighborhood watch program, and the one that communities that have them love to flaunt the most. When a community has a network of residents who monitor it and keep an eye out for suspicious activity, that community generally sees a reduction in crime. Those “this neighborhood patrolled by neighborhood watch” signs are a great deterrent to criminals all by themselves, even before any aspiring burglars or nuisances run into the neighborhood patrol.

Prevent Emergencies

Neighborhood watches don’t just stop criminals from attacking the neighborhood. They also spot neighborhood emergencies, often before they even happen. When neighbors are out keeping watch on the community, the chances of a fire, flood, or medical situation being noticed before it’s too late grow immensely. Neighborhood watches aren’t just about preventing crime. They’re about dealing with all types of neighborhood security and safety issues. Starting one in your community will make everyone in it safer.

Get to Know the Neighbors

One of the secondary benefits of starting a neighborhood watch is that it brings neighbors closer together. In order to run a successful watchdog program, community members need to meet, communicate, and get to know one another. People lead busy lives, and sometimes its hard to find the time to really get to know the neighbors. When a neighborhood is involved in a community watch program, they are given an opportunity to socialize and talk to each other that they often would not have otherwise.

Feel More Secure in Your Home

Even before they stop a single burglary or other crime, a neighborhood watch will make people feel safer. The feeling of security in your home is a precious one, and it comes much easier when you know that the community has your back and is looking out for your best interests and safety. Half the battle for feeling safe in your neighborhood is psychological. Neighborhood watches aren’t just about having a psychological effect on criminals. They also give a positive mental boost to you and your neighbors.

Learn Safety and Security Skills

By taking part in a neighborhood watch, people can learn all sorts of helpful skills that will keep them, their families, and their neighbors safe. Patrolling the neighborhood and dealing with emergency situations can teach people a lot about how to deal with dangerous and stressful situation. Not only that, but being responsible for the safety of others often inspires people to learn safety and emergency procedures on their own. Becoming part of a community monitoring program can teach people not only to better their community, but to better themselves through learning.

There are many benefits to starting a neighborhood watch in your community. When neighbors take it upon themselves to secure and better their neighborhood, the whole community becomes safer, closer, and more informed.

Image Source: Flickr/CreativeCommons - Antti T. Nissinen

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