Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program which enlists the active participation of citizens, in cooperation with law enforcement, to reduce crime in their communities.
The Neighborhood Watch Program involves:
- Neighbors getting to know each other and working together in a program of mutual assistance
- Citizens being trained to recognize and report suspicious activities in their neighborhoods
- The implementation of crime prevention techniques, such as home security, Operation Identification and others
You may hear it called Neighborhood Watch, Home Alert, Citizen Crime Watch or Block Watch. The names differ, but the idea is the same - neighbors looking out for each other.
- Meetings are usually an hour long depending on how many questions the residents have. Meetings can be scheduled after work hours so that more residents have an opportunity to attend.
- Some of the possible venues for the meetings are recreational centers, BBQ and pool areas, courtyards or vacant apartments. Occasionally, residents may open up their homes as meeting places for their neighbors.
- Call the police immediately. A five minute delay means the chance of catching the criminal drops by two-thirds.
- In many cases it is what victims and witnesses tell police about the criminal that result in an arrest. It is important to tell the police as much as you can. No fact is too trivial.
- Sometimes, due to limited resources and personnel, the police may not be able to respond immediately. They have to prioritize their calls based on danger to human life involved. Do not be discouraged. They will get to you as soon as possible.
- Law enforcement and citizens can work together in partnership to reduce crime.
- And once you have reported the crime, stick with it.
- It pays to prosecute. Many of the criminals who are prosecuted are found guilty, and this results in a safer neighborhood.
- Being a witness in court is not as much trouble as you think. Many communities have special programs to help victims and witnesses with transportation, day care services, and scheduling of their cases.
- For further information on crime victim rights and services, contacts the California Victim Compensation Program at 800-777-9229.
- If a crime does occur, report it!
If you would like to schedule a Neighborhood Watch meeting in your area, or would like additional information please contact:
- North Community Relations Officer: Call 714-573-3391 if you live or work on the north side of the 5 freeway.
- South Community Relations Officer: Call 714-573-3396 if you live or work on the south side of the 5 freeway.