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” and reach out to me and we 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.
I conduct the meeting and provide crime prevention tips and strategies to keep your home and vehicle crime resistant and train 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.
We have seen 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 can you 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.
If you would like more information on our Neighborhood Watch Program, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I would be happy to review our Watch program in greater detail and answer any questions.
By Mark Wells, City of Portland, Crime Prevention Program