Whether you’re planning on going for a holiday and need someone to keep guard of your house behind or you’re just generally concerned about the security of your house, the neighborhood watch program is a great way to make sure that your entire neighborhood stays safe. Wondering how? Keep reading to find out how the neighborhood watch program works and its pros and cons!
What exactly is a neighborhood watch program?
A neighborhood watch program is basically a program that you can initiate in your own society. All you have to do is gather up a bunch of volunteers in your neighborhood and educate them about the program.
The aim of the program is to raise awareness among the neighborhood regarding safety and security and to implement ways and techniques that will keep crimes at bay. Once you’ve decided that such a program needs to be initiated, you should consult the official website of the program to register yourselves and get the necessary training.
Why are neighborhood watch programs important?
Neighborhood watch programs intimidate criminals, which is why the crime rate of areas with neighborhood watch programs is lower than those of other areas, which is shown by neighborhood watch program statistics.
This is because, in all areas where neighborhood watch programs are being followed, there are neighborhood watch signs which basically tell criminals that no kind of crime will be tolerated in that area. Those signs intimidate criminals, keeping the neighborhood safe.
The Pros and Cons of Neighborhood Watch Program
Below, we’ll discuss the benefits of neighborhood watch programs under the “pros” section and the disadvantages of the neighborhood watch program under the ‘cons’ section.
Pros of a neighborhood watch program
With the rising world population, the stress and load on the population are increasing, which has resulted in an increase in the crime rate over the past few years.
To check this increase in crime rate and bring it back under control, various steps need to be taken. Since the authorities cannot keep a watch out in every nook and corner of the city, neighborhood watch programs have brought a temporary and easy way of lowering the crime rate of a community. Here are a few pros of the neighborhood watch program:
- When a neighborhood watch program has been initiated in your area, you’ll notice an increase in the number of awareness seminars or sessions regarding basic home security. These seminars will teach you a lot of practical information regarding basic home security, which will be pretty useful for you in the long run. Some neighborhood watch programs even arrange sessions on basic self-defense mechanisms so that if you’re ever in a dangerous situation, you can handle it the right way with the minimum amount of damage.
- You’ll sleep better at night. Among the top benefits of having a neighborhood watch program is that you get a good night’s sleep. You won’t have to worry as much about the world outside because you know that the neighborhood watch program is there to keep criminals away!
- It intimidates criminals. Wherever neighborhood watch programs are employed, there are signs that tell that a neighborhood watch program is in place. When criminals read this sign, they know they’re in a danger zone and that the neighborhood is not to be messed with! Therefore, the criminals would naturally go to another neighborhood that’s an easy target for them because it’s not being watched. Whenever you want to prevent a crime from happening, you need to think like the criminal. Get in the shoes of the criminal. Would you target a neighborhood with a neighborhood watch program? No, you would obviously go for one that’s less secure! Neighborhood watch program statistics have indeed shown that this is true.
- With a neighborhood watch program in place, the residents of the area feel a sense of security and belonging to one another. The neighbors in a neighborhood watch program are more likely to have better relations that one without such a program. Therefore, it strengthens the community and brings people together in a way because, through this program, people work for the same single goal.
- Neighborhood watch programs can be used for other useful purposes as well. When members of the neighborhood get together for a single purpose, it’s very likely that other matters of the community might come up and be dealt with according to the situation. For example, if someone is having parking issues or any other issues in the neighborhood, then the neighborhood watch programs will very likely solve the issue.
Cons of a neighborhood watch program
While a neighborhood watch program is a great way to keep the neighborhood safe, it doesn’t guarantee complete security and the chances of a crime occurring are still there.
Whenever a crime does occur in a neighborhood with a neighborhood watch program, no one should intervene and the incident should be reported immediately to the authorities and they should handle the matter in a lawfully accepted way. Here are a few cons of a neighborhood watch program:
- People like taking matters into their own hands and they often forget their limits.
Heading a neighborhood watch program doesn’t give anyone the authority to interfere with what the law says. Any criminal incident that occurs should be dealt with lawfully.
The volunteers of the neighborhood watch program shouldn’t get in the way of lawful dealings, which often happens. Indeed, people have even been shot down by neighborhood watch programs unlawfully, which is one of their biggest drawbacks.
People don’t know the line between what’s lawful and unlawful and when they see someone committing a crime, they try to become a hero themselves. This act may seem heroic but in reality, it can be used to abuse the law and it shouldn’t be acceptable in any way. There are reasons why rules and regulations are laid down.
- Most neighborhood watch programs are self-made and aren’t officially registered to the National Neighborhood watch program. This means that they don’t follow any of set rules and regulations. When there aren’t any set rules and regulations in place to control a situation, things can tend to get out of hand. Neighborhood watch program statistics show that this is one of the top concerns in places where neighborhood watch programs have taken place.
- In case of an argument or difference in opinion between two volunteers of a neighborhood watch program, things can get heated pretty quickly. It can divide the neighborhood and make the environment of the neighborhood heated and unpleasant. If such a situation persists for longer, it can even result in people moving away from such a neighborhood.
Therefore, we’ve seen from the above paragraphs why a neighborhood watch program is important and ways in which it can be misused. Does your neighborhood need a neighborhood watch program? Do you want to be the one to initiate such a program?
If this is the case, then first, you need to weigh the pros and cons listed above and then you need to make your own decision.
If you think that your neighborhood needs a neighborhood watch program, then you should go ahead and consult with other members of the neighborhood to reach a unanimous agreement. Once a unanimous agreement has been reached, you need to take the steps necessary in order to implement it.
However, at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that there are certain rules and regulations that need to be laid down before such a program is implemented anywhere.
Never follow a program that isn’t officially registered and always try to improve the program so that maximum benefits can be obtained from your neighborhood watch program.
Keep the environment of the program pleasant and make sure that nothing can upset the peace of your neighborhood! Once you officially apply for the neighborhood watch program through the official website, you’ll be guided and trained on how to deal with different scenarios.