Neighborhood Watch Information
A. To establish and teach neighborhood resident groups on how to combat residential crimes such as burglary, vandalism, etc.
B. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to
- Define the three elements necessary to commit a crime
- Define the term Neighborhood Watch
- Perform the three objectives of the Neighborhood Watch Program
- Identify who commits most residential burglaries
- Conduct a self-security check of their home and make the needed repairs
- Properly mark personal property for identification
A. Greeting, Name and Title
B. Ice Breaker
- Most people think of Neighborhood Watch those signs that deter crimes in their neighborhood. Signs Don't Stop Crime, People Stop Crime.
C. A recent National Survey showed that a burglary is committed every eight (8) seconds in this country. We at the police department are committed to reducing these crimes.
III. CRIME ELEMENT TRIANGLE
A. Prior to discussing neighborhood Watch, let me explain the elements needed to commit a crime.
- Desire To commit the crime
- Ability To commit the crime
- Opportunity To commit the crime
B. Historically police departments operated on the principle that crime prevention was the arrest and incarceration of a criminal. This concept has resulted in still the highest crime rate in the world and the largest prison population.
- A criminal goes to prison and spends that time as a learning and honing period for his ability and desire.
C. Modern crime prevention is opportunity reduction.
- For the most part, if you can take a way a criminal's opportunity you can stop the crime.
- Opportunity reduction is done mainly through AWARENESS.
IV. SO WHAT IS NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
A. Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention/opportunity reduction program where citizens band together and work with local law enforcement to combat crime, specifically, but not limited to residential burglary.
B. Neighborhood Watch Groups can take away the criminals opportunity by following the four D's.
a. Ways to deter criminals include
1) Noisy neighbors
5) Citizens Patrols
6) Whatever makes you feel safer, makes the offender feel more at risk.
7) Know your neighbors
a. Keep doors and windows locked.
b. Close your garage doors.
c. Keep landscaping cut back from entrance ways and windows.
d. Don't give a criminal an easy target.
a. Make your home look lived in even when you are out.
1) Use of timers for lights, TV/radio
2) Don't draw or close completely all shades, blinds or curtains.
3) Have neighbor or friend pick up mail, newspapers, etc.
4) Have neighbor mow lawn, put out and pick up garbage cans.
5) Park neighbors car in your driveway.
b. Home security -- To be covered later in lesson.
a. If your home looks like it has been burglarized, don't enter. Go to a neighbor and call police.
b. Report suspicious persons or activity.
V. OBJECTIVES OF NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
A. Maintain a cooperative system of surveillance over one another's property and children, etc.
- Phone tree system.
- Citizens volunteer patrol.
- Drive through your neighborhood.
- Look out the window or door.
- Backyard Society.
- 6'-8' privacy fence
- All entertaining done in backyard.
- Know who belongs in your neighborhood.
B. Report suspicious activity of crimes in progress to the police accurately and immediately.
- What is suspicious activity?
a. Strange cars or persons in the neighborhood.
b. Children walking in neighborhood during school hours.
c. Casing of homes, neighborhood, etc.
2. Who commits most residential burglaries?
1) Make up less than 20%
a) They know what's in your home.
b. Young adults
1) Average age between 12 and 22 years old.
2) Commits 80% of the burglary.
3) Boys, as well as girls.
4) Common reasons
a) Peer pressure
b) Thrill of it
c) Financial gain
c. Items taken
1) Weapons first item looked for
a) Located under mattress, pillow, top drawer of nightstand or master closet.
5) Quick sellable items
b) Game Boy
c) Sega, etc.
6) Stereo Equipment
7) Alcohol, food, candy, etc.
C. How to report to the police
1. What type of activity
2. Description of suspicious person (s)
3. Vehicle used
4. Direction of travel or the location in the neighborhood
5. Procedures for the responding patrol officers.
D. Securing your home and marking your property
1. An estimated 51% of all residential burglaries are committed through unlocked doors and/or windows.
a. No forced entry is necessary, we invite the burglar in.
2. Most residential burglaries are committed during daylight hours. Less than 20% are hot burglaries (when your home asleep.
3. Securing your home
a. All home entrance doors should be of solid core construction or metal plated.
b. Have good locking devices
1) Single cylinder deadbolt
2) Double cylinder deadbolt.
a) Glass within 40 of locking device.
b) Practice opening in the dark or with small children.
3) Minimum of one inch throw on deadbolts.
c. Reinforcing the strike and strike plate.
1) The strike is the hole the deadbolt goes into. Ensure it is deep enough to take the throw.
2) Re-enforce the plate by using 2 ½ - 3 screws.
d. Know where and who has keys to your home.
1) New residents should change locks and garage door combinations.
e. Sliding glass doors/windows can be easily removed.
1) Round head screws in track.
2) Pin locks under tension or drilled slanted down.
3) Use wood dowel rode or charley bars.
4) Install auxiliary locks.
1) 40 watt bulb front and rear entrance.
a) Approximately $18.00 a year to run from dusk till dawn.
2) Security lights.
a) Motion sensors
b) Solar sensors
3) Light up all entry ways and windows
4) Light up dark corners and hiding places.
4. Marking your property
a. Operation Identification
1) Use electronic engraver when possible.
2) Use your number
a) Driver's license
b) State Identification Card
3) Number should be preceded by state two letter abbreviation
4) If nothing else record
c) Serial number
5) Property engraved less likely to be taken.
6) Unmarkable items should be photographed with a good description of item should be written on back of photo
7) Video tape and/or photograph all valuable items and store for insurance purposes.
VI. ADDITIONAL HELP FOR POLICE
A. Roof top numbers
1. Contrasting color of roof
2. Aids in helicopter finding home
B. Large contrasting house numbers in highly visible area
C. Curbside address numbers
VII. FORMING YOUR WATCH GROUP
A. Elect a Block Captain and Assistant Block Captain
B. How and where to get street signs
C. Explain Neighborhood Watch Manual
D. Location for window decal
E. Importance of maintaining an active Watch Group
1. Periodic meetings
3. Block parties
4. Other crime prevention programs
A. The police, no matter how hard they try, can't be in every neighborhood all the time and even if they could, they wouldn't know who belongs there and who doesn't. You the residents, through Neighborhood Watch, can be the eyes and ears of the police and together we can stop crime in your neighborhood. Once we catch the criminal you have to prosecute to keep him off our streets.