Frequently Asked Questions
Who may participate in Neighborhood Watch?
Any law-abiding citizen within a community can participate in a Neighborhood Crime Watch. Citizens involved in Neighborhood Crime Watches range from children to senior citizens. No age group is exempt from crime nor the responsibility of preventing or detecting it. Individuals with all types of diverse professional backgrounds contribute to the success of Crime Watch. Everyone can contribute their own professional and personal experiences to their Neighborhood Crime Watch Program. The success of a Crime Watch Program can not only reduce the amount of crime in a community, but can also bring a community together to form partnerships. When a diverse group of individuals come together, it can encourage social relationships between people as well.
I'm only one person, how can I make a difference in my neighborhood?
Crime prevention and crime detection starts by developing the constructive mental attitude that one person can make a difference. When this is achieved, a positive attitude is spread which evolves into a conglomerate group attitude that more than one person can make more of a difference. Remember, when citizens within their own community become actively involved in watching, caring, and protecting their neighborhood, criminal activity is reduced! The active participation is the only way Crime Watchers can effectively deter criminal behavior. Once an individual is conscious of the surroundings and takes the extra minute to evaluate their neighborhood, it becomes part of a daily routine. Think about methods that can help a Crime Watcher recognize unusual activity in the neighborhood.
What should I do if I see a crime happen?
First of all, don't get directly involved but try to get as many details as you can about the situation. Call 911 and give the dispatcher as detailed description of the incident as possible.
How effective is Crime Watch?
You will see improvements within your neighborhood dependent on amount of cooperation among concerned neighbors. Statistics from around the country show that Crime Watches are very effective in improving neighborhoods.
What will I learn by attending Crime Watch Meetings?
Here are just a few things you will learn when you attend a Crime Watch Meeting:
1. NEIGHBORHOOD CRIME WATCH: How neighbors can look out for each other, including keeping special watch when homes are temporarily unoccupied and owners are in the hospital or on vacation. You will be better informed of arrests and other criminal activities occurring in your community. Remember, the better informed you are the better prepared you will be to prevent crime.
2. HOW TO IDENTIFY SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR: When suspicious people or vehicles should be reported to the police. Getting to know your neighbors is one step toward deterring crime.
3. HOW TO REPORT A CRIME: The correct information a police dispatcher needs, when and how to report a crime and remain anonymous.
4. HOME SECURITY: How to conduct a security survey of doors, windows and other areas of your home.
5. OPERATION IDENTIFICATION: How to mark your valuables with an identifying number that makes your property less inviting to thieves.
How do I report a crime?
The most effective method is to call 911. The Neighborhood Crime Watch has prepared crime report forms for anyone to use. These forms are not official reports, they are an aide to help you effectively report a crime. The questions on these forms are the exact questions that a 911-Dispatcher or Wilkes-Barre Police Officer will ask you in the event of reporting a crime.
When you become a member, you will receive a PIN number that you can use when calling 911- you then will use your PIN number and won't have to give your name.