Regardless if crime is up or down on your individual street or in your neighborhood, starting and participating in an active Neighborhood Watch is always a good idea. The City of Portland’s Crime Prevention program is hoping to start new Watch groups and rekindle older ones in the Eliot Neighborhood area.
Starting a Watch group is really very easy. All it takes is one or two neighbors on a street to volunteer to be the “Organizer”, reach out to Mark Wells and pick a training date and time for the initial meeting. These are usually done in the organizer’s home in the evening to ensure the greatest amount of participation. Wells conducts the meeting and provides crime prevention tips and strategies to keep homes and vehicles crime resistant. He also trains neighbors on how to be a little extra vigilant and when and how to report crimes and suspicious activity. The organizer puts together a “block map” for all the participating Watch members to share their contact information and the Watch may purchase large street Watch signs and smaller window clings.
Thankfully, violent crime rates in Portland and the Eliot area continue to decline; however, there has been a noticeable increase in residential burglary, theft of property, and car break-ins. While we never motivate communities to start a Watch group by fear, it’s important to be aware of what crimes are occurring where in your neighborhood and how you can best respond and be proactive. The Neighborhood Watch program reviews all of this information and helps neighbors come together to build a strong sense and feeling of community which in itself has the greatest impact on reducing criminal activity.
4 Year Crime Trends for the Eliot Neighborhood
Part I crimes- includes Assault, Arson, Burglary, Homicide, Larceny, Rape, Robbery, Car Prowls and Auto theft
Total Part I crimes reported:
2014 – 565
2013 – 431
2012 – 423
2011 – 365
Please note there has not been an increase in violent crimes and that is great news; however, there is an increase primarily in Burglary and Larceny (stolen property) crimes.
Neighborhood Crime stats are available on-line.
The Crime Prevention Program is also teaming up with the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and are including basic outreach and training material to the new Watch groups on emergency planning for individual families and neighborhoods. Crime Prevention and disaster planning often can go hand in hand, and we are excited to add this to the Watch programs.
For more information on the Neighborhood Watch Program, please don’t hesitate to contact Mark Wells and he would be happy to review the Watch program in greater detail and answer any questions.
City of Portland, Crime Prevention Program
By Mark Wells