For some people, when the hear the words ‘Neighborhood Watch,’ all that comes to mind is the image of a street sign illustrating a black silhouette of a man wearing a fedora and bearing a creepy grin. Other folks might picture their neighbors peering out onto the streets behind curtains and living room windows.
What do you think of when you hear ‘Neighborhood Watch’? And how much do you really know about the oldest and most well-known crime prevention program in the history of the United States?
Neighborhood Watch is More Than Surveillance Signs
When in proper operation, Neighborhood Watch is an integration of community members and neighborhood residents working together to recognize criminal action and prevent it from taking place. Neighborhood Watch was designed to be an extra pair of eyes for police and it became popular in the 1970s and 80s.
A typical Neighborhood Watch program consists of residents who partake in meetings and various surveillance tasks. Members are taught how to identify suspicious activity in their neighborhoods and how to report it. The program encourages residents to look out for themselves and their neighbors, which should then result in safer neighborhoods and an improved quality of life.
The Effectiveness of Neighborhood Watch Depends on the Neighborhood
Many Neighborhood Watch programs in effect throughout America successfully reduced the crime rate in specific neighborhoods, while other programs didn’t work so well or not at all. In 2008 a study by the U.S. Justice Department revealed an average 16% reduction of crime in neighborhoods with active Neighborhood Watch programs in place; however, the study did not reveal why the programs were successful.
The success and existence of Neighborhood Watch programs depends on individual neighborhoods. For example, neighborhoods with the highest crime rates often do not have Neighborhood Watch programs in place. This might be because community members refuse to meet or they simply do not have the time or interest to attend meetings.
Do Neighborhood Watch Signs Work to Deter Criminal Activity?
In 2009, there was a study released that examined the impact of Neighborhood Watch surveillance signs in neighborhoods and the effect the signs have on crime levels. The study revealed surveillance signs suggest increased levels of crime in the area in which they are located. And if the signs are defaced or show signs of age, then the perception of increased crime is greater.
Most Neighborhood Watch programs install street signs to make the presence of the program known to potential criminals.
Dornbos Sign & Safety, Inc. Supplies Neighborhood Watch Signs
If you are in need of Neighborhood Watch surveillance signs, DornbosSign & Safety, Inc. has a number of selections for you to choose from. View our collection of Neighborhood Watch signs by visiting our website. Reach out to us with any questions or comments by calling 800-922-0029 or fill out our online contact form.