Block Watch is a program based on the principle that neighbors working together are the first and best line of defense against crime. Block Watch has been shown to be an effective deterrent of crime at the neighborhood level.
In 2010 block watch captains in Broadview formed a group that meets quarterly to discuss crime prevention topics. The group has identified over fifty blocks in Broadview that have organized a block watch. The captains maintain a Yahoo Group that is limited to block watch captains. There is also an open website, Broadview Block Watch.
Block Watch requires two basic commitments:
- A commitment to be concerned about your neighbor’s property and well being as well as your own.
- A commitment that when you see suspicious activity, you will take action by alerting your neighbors and by calling 9-1-1.
Block Watch really just organizes and extends what you are probably already doing on an informal basis. We tend to know and watch out for our closest neighbors, but a group of neighbors at one end of the block who are doing this may not know the group of neighbors at the other end of the block. Organizing a Block Watch makes this attitude of watchfulness more systematic, and provides a block map or contact list with neighbors’ names, telephone numbers and emails that can be used in case of an emergency.
You can form a block watch on your block if you don’t already have one. The Seattle Police Department has good reference material online for forming and maintaining a block watch, and using crime prevention methods.