One great way to prevent crimes of opportunity and stay safe is to join or begin a Neighborhood Watch® program. A neighborhood watch is a program in which all the people who live in one area agree to watch out for each other. So if one of your neighbors notices, a suspicious character hanging around your house, or a car that keeps driving up and down your block, they will notify you and contact the police.
Criminals are warned of an active watch by signs that are posted prominently in the area. When they see the clear signals that the people in this community are working together to prevent crime, they will know their chances of being caught are much higher and go somewhere else. Talk to your neighbors. Are they interested? Do they understand the value of a Neighborhood Watch® Program? Are they aware of, or concerned about specific crime problems in your area? If they are, be sure to mention the following:
- Neighborhood Watch® is a partnership between neighbors to assist the Sheriff's Office in the reduction and fear of crime;
- Neighborhood Watch® does not require frequent meetings;
- Neighborhood Watch® does not require anyone to take personal risks to prevent crime, and the Sheriff's Office discourages community members from doing so;
- A representative from the Sheriff's Office will attend your meetings to answer questions about crime and provide information about Police procedures.
The Harford County Sheriff's Office Community Policing Unit will assist in starting a program in your neighborhood. A Community Policing representative will be available for your first meeting to assist with the initial organization of the Neighborhood Watch® Program and to discuss crime concerns specific to your neighborhood or community.