Advantages And Disadvantages Of Neighbourhood Watch

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Due to increasing crime and disorder in the community of Laventille, a strategic plan was formulated in the effort of bridging a collaborated relationship between the police and the community in reducing crime, fear of crime and social disorder within the community. These strategies are neighbourhood watch, Hearts and Mind Programme, youth intervention program club, mentorship programs, eat, meet and greet, town meetings and workshops on educating community members on what is community policing and safety measures.
Neighbourhood Watch
Neighbourhood watch is one of the most executed community policing programs in reducing crime and disorder in a community. It is directed by community police officers and relies profoundly on the assistance of community members. It is a crime-prevention program that persuades residents to act as the eyes and ears of law enforcement in preventing crime within their community. In other words, it is a responsibility that must embody teamwork and it must be shared equally by law enforcement and private citizens (Wilson, Brown & Schuste, n.d).
A limitation of the neighbourhood watch program is that areas which tend to have a very high rate of criminal activities create problems in establishing and maintaining such program due to intimidation and fear of reprisal from criminal residents. In spite of the difficulties, neighbourhood watch has been deemed very effective in fighting crime. Thus far, it has improved the quality of life in within communities by reducing crime and the fear of crime; in doing so, residents feel more secure in their own home (Laycock & Tilley 1995, n.p).
In addition, neighbourhood watch programs have not only improved the level of interaction among community members, b...

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...e at risk, community based initiatives, sports and recreation programmes” (as cited in Breen 2013, 17). Like the Trinidad and Tobago Police Youth Club which aims at “exposing young people to productive activities in education, sports, culture, spirituality and community service” (St. James Police Youth Club website, n.d), these clubs should follow similar patterns and that of the Clare Youth Service.
These youth clubs should be directed mainly by the police division within that community with the help of internal and external assistance eg, parents, community members and stakeholders. Implementing youth clubs in the communities of Laventille not only creates a stronger and more understanding relationship with the police, they are also not left unsupervised, make better life choices and they work in accordance with both the police and their community members.
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