Does Neighborhood Crime Watch Enhance Your ADT Security System?
It is not often that a person can drive through several neighborhoods without seeing a neighborhood watch sign. The current structure of neighborhood watches came about around the 1960s, but the actual idea derives from town watches that existed in Colonial America. Everyone sees neighborhood watch signs, but many often wonder if they actually work. Home owners may ask “does neighborhood crime watch enhance my ADT security system?”. Several researchers have looked into the effectiveness of neighborhood watches and made some significant findings.
Do Neighborhood Watches Really Work
Studies have been ongoing on whether or not neighborhood watch programs actually prevent crime. A recent study was actually released by the Justice Department in 2008. It showed that the presence of crime watch programs did decrease crimes in an area. The study did not conclude why the programs worked, but made assumptions that the programs reduced opportunities for criminals, increased surveillance, and enhanced people’s willingness to get involved due to it being considered normal and expected within the neighborhood.
The question is whether or not these programs actually enhance the effectiveness of an ADT security monitoring system, and the answer is yes. Neighborhood watch signs serve as a deterrent for burglars and other types of criminals. Just knowing that a neighbor is willing to get involved if they see something out of place is often enough to send a criminal packing. The neighborhood watch signs can be considered the first line of defense in protecting a home.
Then Why Do I Need a Security System
Some people may think that having a neighborhood watch in effect would reduce the need for their security system, but this is just not the case. These crime watch programs are meant to enhance security systems, not replace them. One of the first studies on the effectiveness of the neighborhood watch program found that it reduced crime by about 60%, but it did not eliminate it. If watch programs were 100% effective there would be no need for security systems, but obviously some criminals ignore the warning signs posted and decide to commit crime in the area anyway. That is where additional security pays off.
All methods of deterrence increase the likelihood that a house will not be robbed. If a criminal bypasses neighborhood watch signs and approaches a house with a security system sign outside, they will likely move on. Once again though, no deterrent is 100%. If a burglar decides to attempt to break into a home with a security system, the neighborhood watch will still enhance the effectiveness of that system. When a neighbor sees a criminal scoping out a house trying to find the easiest point of entry, most will do their duty and contact the police. Security systems have a window of a few seconds in which a homeowner can turn off their system when they come into the house, so the neighbor who calls the police ensures that authorities are on their way before a burglar even has time for a quick snatch-and-grab.
How Do I Get a Neighborhood Crime Watch Program?
It is quite obvious that neighborhood watches not only enhance the capabilities of security systems, but can often have police on the way before a criminal has even entered a home. The big question for most homeowners is whether or not their community has a neighborhood watch program. An ADT system is a deterrent in itself, but having a watch program in a neighborhood adds an additional sense of security. Just knowing that most criminals won’t even venture into a community with crime watch signs posted gives most homeowners sense of security.
If a neighborhood doesn’t have a crime watch program there are easy methods to getting one started. It will take most of the neighborhood to make it a reality, but once neighbors learn there isn’t that much actual work involved they will most likely have no problem helping to complete the following steps.
• Contact the local sheriff’s department. They can provide information on crime and may even have a police liaison that can help get the program started.
• Talk to local residents. A group of citizens that is committed to starting the watch program is imperative. Speak to these people about when to have the first meeting.
• Find a place to meet and advertise the meeting. Local churches and businesses may be willing to provide a meeting place, but a neighbor’s home will work as well. Once a meeting place and time is set remember to distribute flyers around the neighborhood advertising the meeting.
• Have an agenda for the first meeting. This agenda should include issues that immediately need to be addressed in the community, crime statistics in the neighborhood, and anything else of importance. Neighborhood maps should also be passed out with a spot for the name, address, and phone number of all residents.
• Get as many members as possible and choose building and block captains. Pass around a signup sheet at the first meeting for anyone who would like to be a captain. Also getting most of the community involved is important, as some jurisdictions require that watch programs have a minimum number of people enrolled before putting up crime watch signs.
So when you ask yourself does neighborhood crime watch enhance your ADT security system, it is an easy answer. Neighborhood watch programs working in conjunction with security systems are an amazing way to keep your home safe. Starting a neighborhood crime watch program is up to the residents of an area, but getting a proper security system is the sole responsibility of each homeowner. As mentioned before, a neighborhood watch program doesn’t stop all crime, and the criminals that ignore the posted signs are likely to go after the houses that don’t have security systems. This being the case, it is important to contact Home Security Concepts and ensure that your house has multiple lines of protection.
For further information please do not hesitate to contact us.