Neighborhood Watch andCommunity Involvement 2345 Crystal Drive, Suite 500 Arlington, VA 22202 202-261-4153 FAX 202-296-1356 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ncpc.org/ncpa
Neighborhood Crime Prevention • Neighborhood Watch • Citizen Patrols • Volunteers in Police Service • Citizen Police Academies
Neighborhood Watch • Establishes a Sense of Community, Cohesiveness and Unity of Purpose. • Establishes contact with Police Department and neighborhood services. • Good neighbor program, not just about crime.
Neighborhood Watch • Started by the National Sheriff’s Association over 30 years ago. • Aim was to prevent residential burglary, a major crime problem at the time. • One of the best ways for citizens and law enforcement to work together to prevent crime. • Today, is touted as a way for communities to prevent all types of crime, including terrorism.
Neighborhood Watch Objectives • Reduce levels of fear of crime in the community • Improve or create neighborhood cohesiveness • Improve reporting characteristics of citizens • Increase natural surveillance in the community • Prevent and reduce crime • Support Homeland Security
The President’s Call In 2002, President Bush called on communities throughout America to double participation in Neighborhood Watch to support Homeland Security.
Neighborhood Watch - Types • Static Watch - Observe and Report • Active Watch - Walking Patrols • Active Watch - Vehicle Patrols
Neighborhood Watch What’s a Snitch? a thief - an informer
Neighborhood Watch - Components • Planning Committee • Block or Road Captain Volunteers • Training - observation skills & crime prevention • Communications – telephone / email tree tree • Community and home warning signs • Law Enforcement support
Neighborhood Watch • Get maps of target areas – identify accepted neighborhood boundary lines • Contact Community Development for a list of existing civic associations - go to meetings • Hold meetings in the neighborhood at churches, schools, libraries - places easily accessible to the public
Block Captains Duties • Establish a meeting schedule and location • Organize a Neighborhood Phone or Email Tree • Disseminate crime prevention literature & brochures • Disseminate Crime Statistics/Information as needed
Block Meetings • At least four per year • First meeting - get acquainted, handouts, statistics, etc. • Within walking distance from home • No more than one hour • Set a date for the next meeting
Telephone or Email Tree Neighborhood Communications • For large groups - series of phone trees or emails • For individual blocks - one • Test the phone or email tree
Telephone - Email Tree Information WHAT INFORMATION WOULD BE BENEFICIAL TO INCLUDE? • Name, Address, phone number (s), email • Number, age and sex of people in house • Vehicle information • pet information • other?
Neighborhood Patrols • Groups may decide to walk or drive. • Determine how long to patrol and how many volunteers are likely to be recruited. • Decide where and when the patrols will take place.
Neighborhood Patrols • Should not carry any type of weapon. • Should not take enforcement action. • Should not engage in physical contact. • Should not be considered a security or police function.
Orange Hat Patrols • Groups of citizens, often in the company of police officers, who walk the neighborhood for about an hour. • They pick up trash, note any missing signs or burned out streetlights, and provide a visible presence for concerned residents in the area.
Neighborhood Patrols Police can offer training on: • What to look for • How to report crimes • Personal Safety when patrolling • Safety and Security Hazards
Neighborhood Watch High Crime Areas • Conduct a neighborhood analysis of target area • Set up safety talks and crime specific prevention talks • Encourage reporting through anonymous tip lines • Assure names, etc will remain anonymous Code of Virginia Security of Neighborhood Watch records
Neighborhood Watch Records Security 1992 General Assembly - Virginia • Amended Code of Va. 2.1-342 relating to Freedom of Information . • Records of Neighborhood Watch participants when given to Police Departments under the promise of confidentiality are EXLUDED from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act
Neighborhood Watch Police Support • Maintain contact with the Block Captains • Update and provide crime data • Newsletters - Crime Prevention Literature • Recognize good job by watches • Letter/certificate from Chief or Sheriff • News media stories
Neighborhood Watch Police Support • Perform security surveys and neighborhood safety assessments • Schedule other crime prevention training • Personal Safety • Operation Identification • Residential Security • others?
Homeland Security • Be aware and attuned to your surroundings - home, work, leisure and travel • Know the routines, it helps you spot the unusual - eighborhood, community, work • Take what you hear seriously - if it sounds serious report it to law enforcement
Emergency Planning • Make a list or important local telephone numbers. • Know how to reach members of your family. • Pay particular attention to children, seniors and people with disabilities. • Make your house easy to find. • Organize an emergency preparedness kit. • Take a First Aid and/or CPR course.
Neighborhood Watch Benefits • Fosters Good Relations with Citizens • Crime and Offender information • Volunteer Base • Phone numbers/ emails /names of people in area • Police can meet people in area/ beat • Positive media coverage
Neighborhood Watch - Virginia Neighborhood Watch in Virginia Summer 2002 Survey Department of Criminal Justice Services
5 Largest NW Programs Locality Groups 1. Fairfax County 1,200 2. Chesterfield County 290 3. Newport News 219 4. Albemarle County 155 5. Hampton 53 Total in Virginia 2002 4,753 Total in Virginia 1984 2,158
Neighborhood Watch - Most Active • 21% Very Active • 20% More Active than Inactive • 39% Mixed (50-50 active and inactive) • 18% More Inactive than Active • 2% Very Inactive
Neighborhood Watch - Activities • 57% conduct foot or car patrols • 57% participate in National Nite Out • 59% Operation Identification services • 78% home security surveys on a request
VA Neighborhood Watch Resources VCPA - Neighborhood Watch coordinator links http://vcpa.org/Neighborhood%20Watch/NW%20in%20VA%202002.htm Department of Criminal Justice Services Neighborhood Watch Study http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/cple/documents/2003NeighborhoodWatch.pdf
Neighborhood Watch Resources National Association of Town Watch PO Box 303 1 Wynnewood Road, Suite 102 Wynnewood, PA 19096 (610) 649-7055 Contact: Matt Peskin, Executive Director National Night Out - first Tuesday in August
Neighborhood Watch Resources National Sheriffs’ Association 1450 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 838-5330 FAX (703) 519-8567 Contact: Robbi Woodson, email@example.com Director of Crime Prevention & Neighborhood Watch
Volunteers in Police Service - VIPS • The VIPS Program provides support and resources for agencies interested in developing or enhancing a volunteer program and for citizens who wish to volunteer their time and skills with a community law enforcement agency. • The program’s ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement to utilize volunteers .
Citizen’s Police Academy • The purpose of the Citizen Police Academy is to foster better communication between citizens and police through education. • The Academy will create a nucleus of well-informed citizens who possess greater insight into police practices and services. Learn about the Division's mission and Community Policing Philosophy