Neighbourhood or Community Watch groups play an important role in serving as the eyes and ears of their community; offering additional support for law enforcement or sometimes acting in place of them. These are groups of individuals who have come together to take a stand, usually volunteers who have day jobs, and work patrol shifts after hours or over weekends to keep a handle on crime in the area.
Although already a familiar concept, the aftermath of lockdown and collapse of the economy has subsequently heightened the need for communities to pull together and create safer living environments. Neighbourhood Watches are the most frequently recorded mechanism used by residents to report incidents and suspicious activities and have proven to be effective in reducing crime. Simple surveillance measures, like residents watching and reporting odd characters or behaviour, deters offenders. If a criminal is aware of the proclivity of a watchful community, they are likely to feel an increased risk of being caught.
There are many resources needed to set up and run a neighbourhood watch but it ultimately requires a team effort. That starts with YOU. It may be time to ask yourself, ‘What can I do to make my neighbourhood a safer place?’ Here are some tips to get started:
Get to Know your Community
Whether you live in a gated community or an independent property, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the people living around you. Offer yourself as a resource in case of emergencies, start a WhatsApp community group and perhaps plan a get-together for a meet and greet. Doing something is better than nothing.
Start a Neighbourhood Watch Community Association
It might be time to set up something a bit more formal and organised, where the community can turn to. This could be a type of calling tree for residents to use to report dodgy characters or unusual behaviour. A Neighbourhood Association or Community Serve platform can also be the go-to for highlighting regular community meetings and initiatives, for volunteers to sign-up for patrol work, and to create a database of members of the community. Start small and build onto this.
Take Caution when out of town
It’s wise to make it appear that you are still home during your out-of-town holiday. Intruders pick up on several visual cues that hint you’re away and can make your home a target. Consider getting a house sitter or asking a neighbour to check in on things while you are away. This could be something as simple as getting a neighbour to park their car in your driveway for a while or turning your house lights on at night.
Install a Security System
Getting a home security system is a great way to secure your property- especially with advances in technology. This could be anything from beams or a simple trigger alarm to motion cameras and live streaming using your mobile or tablet where ever you are.
Broubart Security have been actively involved with Community Initiatives over the past few years and Specializes in proactive solutions where we engage with our Community’s and implement community patrols with CCTV AI solutions to assist in minimizing Risk in your Suburbs.
Now, more than ever, we need to come together in our communities and actively work towards creating a safer environment. This is a team effort and requires you to take a stand and be proactive. You may find that your neighbourhood not only becomes safer but a more enjoyable one too.