Crime is a concern and a risk in any homeowners association. But incorporating certain trusted systems, such as a neighborhood watch, can ensure that your community stays collectively alert and focused on safety. To both deter crime and increase safety, your association should consider setting up a neighborhood watch program. Here are some tips for getting started.
Work with Law Enforcement
Definitely team up with your local police office when setting up your Watch group. They’ll be able to help in providing the proper training and information to the community to ensure you program is effective.
Designate “Window Watchers”
Those who don’t leave their home often can be assigned to report any unusual activity they see through their windows. This is a great way to not only keep an eye out for anything suspicious, but to also look out for children in the community as they play outside. The Watch program is most effective when there are several attentive pairs of eyes.
Have Regular Meetings
Schedule times for all residents to come together, mingle with one another, and work together to build programs in furthering the safety of the community. As they say, there is safety in numbers.
Spread the Word
Besides the local sheriff’s office, your community can also work with other local organizations to raise awareness about crime prevention. This will give you more opportunities for the Watch program and help increase involvement in the neighborhood. You can also remind members of the program during community events.
Spread Relevant Information
Maintain awareness of crime statistics in your community and stay updated on surveys and police reports. Spreading this information will further help in recruiting Watch members by helping them understand the importance of the program.
Setting up a neighborhood watch is a great way to get your community involved and informed about how to recognize crime in your association. It’s also important that members understand what to report to police and don’t try to handle all emergency situations themselves. Any activity that is deemed suspicious should be immediately reported to law enforcement.
For more ideas about effective community watch programs, contact your HOA manager.