Neighborhood Watch

What is a Neighborhood Watch?

“Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, Town Watch, Apartment Watch, Crime Watch — no
matter what it’s called, this is one of the most effective and least costly answers to crime.
Watch groups are a foundation of community crime prevention, they can be a stepping
stone to community revitalization.” — National Crime Prevention Council

Neighborhood-Watch-Sign-PKE-13399_600A neighborhood watch (also called a crime watch, block watch, town watch, etc.) is a crime prevention concept, where citizen members or residents of a given community organize and agree to report suspicious activities observed on one another’s properties, patrolling streets, providing general crime deterrence by being present and observant — and, above all, reporting suspicious incidents to the police.

Neighborhood Watch Programs fight the isolation and separation that crime creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents and businesses, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve.

The aim of neighborhood watch includes educating residents of a community on security and safety and achieving safe and secure neighborhoods. However, when a criminal activity is suspected, members are encouraged to report to authorities, and not to intervene.

In the United States, neighborhood watch builds on the concept of a “town watch” by “watchmen” in Colonial America.


What Do You ‘Watch’ For?

  • Someone looking into windows and parked cars
  • Unusual noises
  • Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or a business is closed
  • Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly without apparent destination, or without lights
  • Anyone being forced into a vehicle
  • A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child
  • Abandoned cars
  • Vandalism or gang activity
  • Someone screaming or shouting for help

The Benefits

  • Neighborhood-Watch-Sign-K-4125Reduction in crime
  • Partnerships with local law enforcement and your neighbors
  • A more secure and better prepared hometown
  • A more united community

It works. Throughout the country, dramatic decreases in burglary and related offenses are reported by law enforcement professionals in communities with active Watch Programs.

Read more: “Start a Watch Group in 5 Easy Steps,” National Neighborhood Watch

Read more: “How to Start a Neighborhood Watch,” wikiHow

VIDEO: “San Pedro Neighborhood Watch Tough on Crime”

Starting Your Own Neighborhood Watch

PRINT AT HOME: “Take a Stand Against Crime, Join a Neighborhood Watch,” National Crime Prevention Council (HINT: These are great to print and handout to your neighbors)

Read more: “Starting a Neighborhood Watch,” National Crime Prevention Council

CHECKLIST: “Checklist for Starting a Neighborhood Watch Program,” National Crime Prevention Council

Read more: “Neighborhood Watch Manual,” Bureau of Justice Assistance U.S. Department of Justice

Neighborhood Watch Programs in Action

You might think that the idea of a neighborhood or community crime watch seems “dated” or “old fashioned.” But, these citizen communication and crime prevention groups are contributing information to law enforcement investigations, and helping keep communities safe, every day.

NEWS CLIP: Neighborhood Watch Keeps Halloween Safe

NEWS CLIP: Neighborhood Watch Breaks Up Alleged Identity Theft Ring

NEWS CLIP: Facebook Helps Neighborhood Watch Group Nab Burglary Suspects

NEWS CLIP: Police Say Neighborhood Watch Programs Play Key Role in Safety

For Citizens: Crime Prevention Training

neighborhood-crime-watch-sign-k-0241The Special Services Division of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office provides information and training to the citizens of Lewis County. The following lectures are available upon request.

  • Operation Identification
  • Community Watch
  • Business / Theft-Robbery
  • Landlord / Tenant Training
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Drug Recognition
  • Bicycle Rodeo for Children
  • Home Security Audits
  • Road Rage Awareness / Prevention
  • Campsite Security
  • Personal Safety
  • Drug Lab Identification
  • Gang Awareness / Prevention
  • Domestic Violence Issues
  • Law Updates

Other topics available by request. To schedule any of these training programs, please contact our office at (360) 740-1373.

Lewis County Neighborhood Watch & Volunteer Programs

CRIME STOPPERS: Crime Stoppers of Lewis County

CHEHALIS: Neighborhood Watch

CHEHALIS: Chehalis Police Department Volunteers

LEWIS COUNTY: LCSO Support Volunteers

LEWIS COUNTY: LCSO Search & Rescue Volunteers

LEWIS COUNTY: LCSO Youth Law Enforcement Explorers