The Gleaner


For some time, the police have been faced with an increasing level of dormancy among neighbourhood watch groups across the country. Several efforts have since been made to revive such stagnant neighbourhood watch groups. A neighbourhood watch is a group of neighbours who look out for each other and report suspicious actions to the police; working together with law enforcement officers to keep their community safe.If there isn't a group in your community, here are some steps to follow to form a group.

1 Get as much information from relevant authorities with regard to legal responsibilities for starting a neighbourhood watch.

2 Hold a preliminary meeting to hear neighbours' interests and concerns and also to establish the purpose of the programme.

3 Form a small committee to discuss needs, possible challenges and the concept of the watch.

4 Form crucial partnership with law enforcement officers. Training from the police and help with recruitment can help to ensure the success of the group.

5 Select a place that is easily accessible to everyone in the community, especially disabled residents.

6 Invite law enforcement officers or a member from a local crime prevention organisation to attend your meetings.

7 Neighbourhoods may be divided into streets. So you can assign a leader to each street. 8 Develop a communication network to relay information to residents about crime and security.

9 Announce/publicise meetings at least one week in advance with door-to-door fliers and follow-up phone calls the day before.

10 Make use of local media groups to publicise the successes of the group.

11 Consider linking with an existing organisation such as a citizens' association, community development office, tenants' association, housing authority.

12 Get everyone involved, children, teens and even the elderly.





Gleaner Company