Neighborhood Watch is a program that has been implemented in many neighborhoods to prevent crime. The program is simple – it involves neighborhood concern and awareness, along with police cooperation.
The concept is:
1. Be alert to things happening on your street and in your neighborhood.
II. Watch for the unusual–if you suspect anything out of the ordinary- call the police at 385-5000 (non-emergency phone number). Remember, the police need your eyes and ears to protect your neighborhood!
1. Neighborhood Watch Helps To Reduce Burglaries AndOther Crimes Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry of a home, apartment, place of business, or other structure with the intent to commit a misdemeanor or felony, even if no force is used to gain entrance. In 2010. the City of Virginia Beach had:
• One Burglary every 4 hours, 24 minutes ( 1 ,986)
• One Larceny every 49 minutes, 15 seconds (1 0,669)
The greatest deterrent to a would-be burglar is the fear of getting caught. Each concerned citizen is another pair of eyes to let the criminal know that they are being watched. Neighborhood Watch supplies these eyes.
2. Neighborhood Watch Works With ….
Your own neighbors are often your single best security device. In a few neighborhoods it is virtually impossible for a burglar to enter the area on foot or by car without being observed. Unfortunately, however, many people simply do not make an effort to get to know their neighbors.
They are hesitant to report suspicious people or vehicles fearing that they will be regarded as “snoopy”. You need not be close friends with your neighbors in order to look out for their interests. Neighborhoods in which people are truly concerned with each other and their mutual safety have extremely low burglary rates. Recent studies by criminologists point outthat several such neighborhoods have had literally no burglaries within the past decade.
You can begin to build a neighborhood security system by becoming better acquainted with your neighbor’s everyday living patterns. By knowing when they are at work, on vacation, and so forth, you will be better able to judge whether a stranger should legitimately be at the neighbor’s home.
3. What is Suspicious Activity?
• A stranger entering your neighbor’s house when it is unoccupied.
• Anyone removing car accessories, license plates, gasoline, etc.
• Anyone peering into parked cars or homes.
• Apparent business transactions conducted from a vehicle.
• Anyone loitering around schools, parks, secluded areas or on the street.
• Any vehicle moving slowly and without lights.
• Vehicles containing one or more persons parked at unusual hours.
• Vehicles being loaded with valuables in front of unoccupied houses.
4. Report All Unusual Circumstances
• Be alert to unfamiliar people and their activities.
• Report anything which might indicate criminal activity.
IF IN DOUBT, call the police.
• Police will want to know:
-What happened? When? Where?
-Is anyone injured?
-Vehicle license plate number?
-Direction of flight/travel?
-Description of persons and their clothing?
Don’t be afraid of turning in a false alarm.
Innocent activity will be regarded as such
upon police investigation. Innocent citizens
approached by the police as a result of your
call will realize that our concern is for their
5. How Do You Get Started ?
An initial meeting for the community will be organized by the community leaders. A Crime Prevention Officer will attend this meeting and explain the requirements and purpose of the program. Volunteers will be signed up at this meeting. Volunteer responsibilities include:
• Coordinates any Neighborhood Watch meeting.
• Acts as a base station for the program in their neighborhood.
• Acts as a liaison between their neighborhood and the Police Department.
• Assures that literature is distributed to those who are unable to attend any meetings.
• Communicates with the Block Captains.
• Provides annual update information to the Crime Prevention Officer on the number of participants.
Block Captain –
• Visits assigned homes (10-15) to sign residents up for the program.
• Acts as a liaison between the Coordinator and his/her area of
responsibility and disseminates information communicated to him/her
which may assist the police.
• When new residents move in, invite them to join the program.
• Hands out crime prevention literature. etc. as needed.
• Maintains regular contact with the Coordinator.
For More Information Contact:
Crime Prevention Unit
2509 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Fax (757) 385-1064
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