When neighbors unite for the common good of all, good things happen. Nothing could be closer to the truth than the program designed to keep communities safe and free of crime.
Dating back to the time of the colonists when locals would band together to assist law enforcement entities in combating robberies and burglaries, today’s Community Watch Groups serve as the eye and ear of the police by patrolling and performing surveillance duties on the streets. Volunteers who belong to Community Watches have made a significant impact on reducing crime occurrences, thus benefitting the overall quality of life in neighborhoods.
“There are less theft-related NJ Homeowners Insurance claims in communities where the Neighborhood Watch services are employed.” says Al Morgenstern of PRIME Insurance Agency in Lakewood, NJ.
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Helpful Tips on Establishing a Neighborhood Watch
For those interested in this popular citizen activism program, the following list of ‘to do’s’ will be helpful.
- Lay down basic philosophy of your group. The Watch Group serves exclusively as a reporter to the police about potential crimes and crime. It never takes over the job of confronting an offender.
- Contact your local police station for guidance.
- Empower your organization with knowledge about crime statistics.
- Connect with a local social services group that deals with crime victims so that your volunteers can learn how to assist those affected by offenses committed against them.
- Mark days of the calendar for official member meetings where strategies can be discussed.
- Try to partner with another type of community organization already in existence to help you with administrative duties.
- Enlist volunteers who will knock on doors with information about your group.
- Recruit those who tend to stay at home to look out for suspicious activity from their window-fronts.
- Have crime prevention fliers printed in alternate languages used by residents and have bilingual translators available at meetings.
- Advertise your group’s ideals by holding related exhibitions at neighborhood malls, religious institutions, or resource centers.
- Criminals are attracted to unkempt surroundings. Support a neighborhood cleanup and broadcast the need for aesthetic settings. Make an awareness of the need for outdoor night lighting to discourage trespassers.
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Summary: Fact: Neighborhood Watches deter community crime and minimize NJ Homeowners Insurance crime claims!