On Tuesday, August 2nd from 6PM-9PM Franconia Township will be having their 15th annual National Night Out against crime.
National Night Out is an annual worldwide event that brings together citizens, law enforcement agencies, local officials, and local businesses to increase anti-crime awareness and strengthen community partnerships. In 2010, approximately 2,000+ people joined the police department for this annual celebration. For more information on this event check out their site.
What better time to meet with your neighbors and begin your own neighborhood watch. As we are aware crime knows no boundaries. Crimes occurs in urban, suburban, and rural areas and the need to keep our neighborhoods safe is becoming more important than ever.
Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention in the country. Sponsored by the National Sheriffs’ Association, this program has roots back to colonial settlement days when night watchmen patrolled the streets ensuring the safety of its’ residents.
The following tips are brought to you by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC):
- Work with the police or sheriff’s office. These agencies are critical to a Watch group’s credibility and are the source of necessary information and training.
- Link up with your victims’ services office to get your members trained in helping victims of crime.
- Hold regular meetings to help residents get to know each other and to decide upon program strategies and activities.
- Consider linking with an existing organization, such as a citizens’ association, community development office, tenants’ association, or housing authority. They may be able to provide an existing infrastructure you can use.
- Canvass door-to-door to recruit members. Ask people who seldom leave their homes to be “window watchers,” looking out for children and reporting any unusual activities in the neighborhood.
- Translate crime and drug prevention materials into Spanish or other languages needed by non-English speakers in your community. If necessary, have a translator at meetings.
- Sponsor a crime and drug prevention fair at a church hall, temple, shopping mall, or community center.
- Gather the facts about crime in your neighborhood. Check police reports, conduct victimization surveys, and learn residents’ perceptions about crimes.
- Often, residents’ opinions are not supported by facts, and accurate information can reduce the fear of crime.
- Physical conditions like abandoned cars or overgrown vacant lots contribute to crime. Sponsor cleanups, encourage residents to beautify the area, and ask them to turn on outdoor lights at night.
- Work with small businesses to repair rundown storefronts, clean up littered streets, and create jobs for young people.
- Start a block parent program to help children cope with emergencies while walking to and from school or playing in the area.
- Emphasize that Watch groups are not vigilantes and should not assume the role of the police. Their duty is to ask neighbors to be alert, observant, and caring—and to report suspicious activity or crimes immediately to the police.
All of us at The Weimer Group are grateful to and appreciate our police and firefighters and their efforts to keep our community safe. We also appreciate the clients that have found our services valuable and look forward to welcoming you to our insurance family. If you have any questions about PA insurance, make sure to stop by The Weimer Group. With offices in Bucks County and Montgomery County; find out what makes us different from the average insurance agency.