How to Start a Neighborhood Watch

With Signs, Decals and More

Launching a neighborhood watch program can be an effective, yet inexpensive way to fight crime in the area right where you live. By working with the community of your neighbors and local law enforcement, you can make strides in deterring crime before it even happens.

    1. Talk to your neighbors and learn about the level of interest in forming such a neighborhood watch. Have facts at the ready to present to community members, such as how having a visible group, posting the proper crime watch signs, has been proven to reduce and prevent crime
    2. Once some support has been established and a committee or planning team put together, contact local law enforcement, which usually has a designated community liaison to work with those running a neighborhood watch program.  An officer might even be able to come and speak to the group about crime in the area and the benefits of such a program. 
    3. Reach out further to others in the neighborhood and talk about the program. Create fliers, mailers and brochures to circulate and allow residents to discover for themselves the benefits of such a program and posting neighborhood crime watch signs.
    4. Hold weekly meetings in the neighborhood, either in homes, common areas or community centers to go over the program and review actions. Positions such as “Block Captains” could be formed as well. 

The Importance of the Crime Watch Sign

When forming a neighborhood watch, both the community members and the neighborhood watch signs themselves have significant roles. Members may underestimate the importance of such posted crime watch signs, which can be the biggest deterrent to crime of them all. Potential thieves, vandals or offenders are more likely to target neighborhoods without such visible neighborhood crime watch signs.

A Neighborhood Watch Sign Is Not a Substitute for Police

It is important to mention that forming a Neighborhood Watch Program and posting appropriate neighborhood watch signs and decals does not mean such group members have the arm of authority from the police. The Neighborhood Watch members’ goal is to report suspicious activity to police rather than directly involve themselves in any dangerous situation.