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Set Up a Block Watch Program

Three Operating Principles

Operation Crime Watch’s Block Watch Program has three operating principles:

More Eyes and Ears - Citizen Safety – Neighborhood Networks

  • Citizens provide additional sets of eyes and ears for the police
    • You shift your attention to be more aware of others and your environment
    • You alert the police to a problem in your community by calling
      9-1-1, 3-1-1 or (410) 666-DRUG (3784)
    • You provide information to the police by attending monthly Community Council meetings for your police district
  • Citizens stay safe at all time
    • By requesting to report anonymously you can report crime and remain anonymous to the police
    • You do not assume the role of the police, but move away neighborhood trouble while you are on patrol
  • Citizens form neighborhood networks to unite against crime
    • You look out for your neighbors and they look out for you
    • Ordinary activities like dog-walking, taking out the trash and neighborhood strolls turn into neighborhood watch activities

While the “why” behind crime is subject to much debate, two factors must exist for a crime to occur:

  • a person must desire to commit a crime
  • there must be an opportunity to commit the crime

Operation Crime Watch’s Block Watch Program is designed to stop or discourage the criminal by decreasing the opportunity for crime

FOUR ACTION COMPONENTS

Sign Up Neighbors as Crime Watchers - Mark your Property – Secure your Home – Neighbors Working Together

  • Sign Up Your Neighbors as Crime Watchers
  • Property marking
    • Mark your valuables with your driver’s license number followed by the letters "MD"
    • Create a log of items most likely to be stolen including make, model and serial number for each item
    • Display the BlockWatch sticker to discourage thieves
  • Secure Your Home
    • Perform a residential security survey of your house
    • Make changes to your doors, locks, landscaping and lighting to decrease the opportunities for crime
    • Take measures to make your car or truck a less attractive target
  • Neighborhood Action
    • Over time, recruit a network of block watch block captains to be the working core of your public safety committee, mapping the location of your volunteers and crime so that eventually the entire neighborhood is covered
    • Block captains organize block meetings so that each volunteer receives a Block Watch packet, has a personal Neighborhood Network Map and a Crime Watch number and takes part in Operation Identification
    • Identify naturally-occurring social activities and elevate them to block watch activities. Everyday activities like dog-walking, staying-at-home and taking out the trash become organizing tools for increasing the number of eyes and ears on the alert
    • Recruit your block watch volunteers to become involved with your neighborhood Citizens on Patrol
    • Work with local officials to install Block Watch and Citizens on Patrol signs at the gateways to your neighborhood
    • Celebrate your neighborhood through block parties, neighborhood socials and involvement in city-wide events.

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