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Neighborhood Watch and Community Involvement

Neighborhood Watch and Community Involvement

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Neighborhood Watch and Community Involvement

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  1. Neighborhood Watch andCommunity Involvement 2345 Crystal Drive, Suite 500 Arlington, VA 22202 202-261-4153 FAX 202-296-1356 pharris@ncpc.org www.ncpc.org/ncpa

  2. Neighborhood Crime Prevention • Neighborhood Watch • Citizen Patrols • Volunteers in Police Service • Citizen Police Academies

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The President’s Call In 2002, President Bush called on communities throughout America to double participation in Neighborhood Watch to support Homeland Security.

  7. Neighborhood Watch - Types • Static Watch - Observe and Report • Active Watch - Walking Patrols • Active Watch - Vehicle Patrols

  8. Neighborhood Watch What’s a Snitch? a thief - an informer

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Neighborhood Patrols Police can offer training on: • What to look for • How to report crimes • Personal Safety when patrolling • Safety and Security Hazards

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. Neighborhood Watch Police Support • Perform security surveys and neighborhood safety assessments • Schedule other crime prevention training • Personal Safety • Operation Identification • Residential Security • others?

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. Neighborhood Watch - Virginia Neighborhood Watch in Virginia Summer 2002 Survey Department of Criminal Justice Services

  27. Neighborhood Watch - Virginia 2002

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. Neighborhood Watch Resources National Sheriffs’ Association 1450 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 838-5330 FAX (703) 519-8567 Contact: Robbi Woodson, rwoodson@sheriffs.org Director of Crime Prevention & Neighborhood Watch

  34. 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 .

  35. 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