homepage Neighborhood Watch Home Protection Crime Reports Further Reading Landings Maps

This page presents an Overview of Neighborhood Watch (NW) with excerpts from the National Sheriffs’ Association NW Implementation Manual for Citizens and Law Enforcement and the Coeur d'Alene Police Departments Home Safety Handbook:

Here is a highly condensed definition of Neighborhood Watch:


Here are some additional points of interest about Neighborhood Watch:

Neighborhood Crime Prevention:  A Joint Responsibility
The prevention of crime – particularly crime involving residential neighborhoods – is a responsibility that must be shared equally by law enforcement and private citizens. 

Throughout the United States, dramatic decreases in burglary and related offenses are reported by law enforcement professionals in communities with active  NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH programs.

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH is now the most successful anticrime initiative in the country…

Burglary – A Target for NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
Burglary, the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft, is the crime that is targeted particularly by the National NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH Program.  While it is one of the most prevalent and difficult crimes facing law enforcement today, it is, at the same time, the one major crime that CAN be effectively resisted by each citizen taking POSITIVE ACTION at home.

There are exceptions to the rising tide of crime, however, and studies reveal that these are often thriving NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH communities, where dedicated, enthusiastic residents have been trained to notice suspicious activities and report them, not only to law enforcement officials, but also to each other.  NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH is, after all, hardly a new idea; in fact, it is based on one of the oldest and simplest concepts known to man – neighbor helping neighbor. 

Making it tough for the Burglar
Through NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH Programs, determined citizens are decreasing their chances of becoming victims.  Alert program participants in communities across the country are making things hard for potential criminals by:

  • Training family members to keep valuables secure and to lock doors and windows when leaving home; it is a good practice to keep doors lock when anyone is at home or not;
  • Asking neighbors to watch for suspicious activity when the house is vacant;
  • Developing neighborhood “fan” or telephone tree systems for quickly alerting each other about criminal activity in the area;
  • Identifying the area’s participation with decals and metal road signs warning, “NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH – our neighbors are watching to report suspicious activity to our law enforcement agency.

Recognizing Suspicious Activity
BE ALERT.  Anything that seems slightly "out of place" or is occurring at an unusual time of day could be criminal activity.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO APPREHEND A PERSON COMMITTING A CRIME OR INVESTIGATE A SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY.  Call the police or sheriff's department immediately, and do not worry about being embarrassed if your suspicions prove to be unfounded.  Law enforcement officers would rather investigate than be called when it is too late

Time and accuracy are critical in reporting crime or suspicious events.  Use your law enforcement agency's emergency number to report life-threatening incidents or a crime in progress, and use the non-emergency number for crimes that have already occurred.  Your call could save a life, prevent an injury, or stop a crime.  The information you provide will be kept confidential.  You do not need to give your name, although this is often helpful.

Suspicious Persons
Obviously, not every stranger who comes into a neighborhood is a criminal.  Legitimate door-to-door sales and repair people appear in residential areas frequently.  Occasionally, however, criminals disguise themselves as these workers; therefore, it is important to be alert to the activities of all nonresidents.  Law enforcement officials should be called to investigate persons in the following circumstances, who may be suspects in the crimes indicated:

  • Going door to door in a residential area, especially if one or more goes to rear of residence or loiters in front of an unoccupied house or closed business (burglary);
  • Forcing entrance or entering an unoccupied house (burglary, theft, or trespassing);
  • Loitering around or peering into cars, especially in parking lots or on streets (car theft);
  • Offering items for sale at a very low price (trying to sell stolen property);

Describing and Reporting of Events, Vehicles and Persons

Describing Events
When describing events, write down:

  • What happened;
  • When it happened;
  • Where it occurred (note the nearest cross street, home address, or landmark in relationship to the event);

Describing Vehicles
When describing vehicles, write down:

  • Vehicle license number and state, make and type of vehicle, color, and approximate age;
  • Special designs or unusual features, such as vinyl top, mag wheels, body damage, pinstripes, etc.;
  • Direction of travel.

 Describing Persons
In preparing descriptions of persons, it is important to write down the following:

  • Sex;
  • Race;
  • Age;
  • Height (estimated from eye contact level measured against your height);
  • Weight;
  • Hair (color and length);
  • Hat;
  • Facial Hair (beard/mustache);
  • Shirt/tie;
  • Coat/jacket;
  • Trousers;
  • Shoes;
  • Any peculiar or distinguishable mannerisms, physical disabilities, disfigurations, scars or tattoos;
  • Voice characteristics;
  • Direction of movement

For additional detail visit the Further Reading page and checkout the Manuals and Handbook links

Join NW



This is The Landings at Waterford Neighborhood Watch website and is intended solely for the use of Homeowners Association Members and Residents
Copyright 2011-2014 | Contact: Tucker Marcheso 208-651-5945| email: LandingsWatch@mainthing.com