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Neighborhood Watch

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In a community effort to keep families safe, homes free of burglaries among other residential and environmental safeguards, citizens have taken the initiative to be pro-active in crime prevention efforts. Important goals such as the deterrence of crime, popular programs such as, Neighborhood Watch, have been established with the hopes to provide safer communities.

According to Wilson, R., Brown T.H, & Schuster, B. (2009), “the Neighborhood Watch program is a popular community effort that encourages citizens to work with local law enforcement to report any suspicious criminal activities.” For the most part, neighborhood watch programs post signs in their residential areas to alert potential criminals from victimizing the area. Furthermore, Wilson, R., Brown T.H, & Schuster, B. (2009) indicate, “the Neighborhood Watch program has influenced the startup of other residential crime prevention programs such as block watch, apartment watch, citizen alert and community watch.” One of the main problems faced by residents and families of a community is the fear of being victimized and/or hurt by criminals. With this in mind, the goal is to alter the community’s environment and provide a sense of security and deterrence to crime.

Several tools may be used to combat and prevent crime such as signs, better lighting, alarm and camera systems that may help accomplish such a task. How is the effectiveness of a neighborhood watch program measured? According to Slatter (2009), “the effectiveness of a watch program can be measured by 1). the relationship between citizens and residents which may be intensified with strong, positive communication and ties 2). residents are able to express and enjoy their safety and well-being and 3). more com...

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...is research article, the author paid attention to using literature that was examined, compared and tested in different areas.” This article advises policy makers and communities to form stronger relationships with police authorities and concentrate on preventing crime, reduce fear of crime and improve the lives of residents. It is important that other publications be reviewed and examined to find valid and reliable data that can be retested.

One of the questions for researchers is to identify how and if a neighborhood watch program would work in all types of neighborhoods. For the most part and according to these articles, neighborhood watch programs have proven to be effective. Would a program like this work in areas that are already infested with crime and poverty? The decision is up to the citizens to work together with law enforcement if they want a change.
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