A neighborhood watch is an activity that directly brings neighbors and residents of an area together to increase community awareness and problem-solving. A neighborhood watch also enhances knowledge on one another and allows everyone to know who belongs and who doesn’t belong in that range. Important topics discussed in neighborhood watch communities includes speaking on mutual issues within the neighborhood, working to increase proactive feelings of community, and promote joint action to address common problems.Ideally, the role of neighborhood watch is to provide informal social control in a community. Neighborhood watch contributes to social control by heavily using surveillance. Successful surveillance requires the ability to discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate users of an area.
This can happen by instituting various activities such as operation identification, security surveys, crime hotlines block parenting, the improvement of street lighting and addressing physical environmental concerns. Bursik and Gramick (1993), noted that many neighborhoods are socially disorganized. Because of this, they are unable to exercise any sort of control over residents and visitors in the area.
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By drawing from local resources such as families, friends, and schools, neighborhoods can build social control.The exact number of neighborhood or block watch programs are unknown. Most programs are true grassroots organizations and don’t belong to official administrations that could keep track of such groups.
According to the National Neighborhood Watch (NNW), an organization sponsored by the National’s Sheriff’s Association and supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, there were more than 25,000 neighborhood watch groups in the U.S. in 2012, with more than one million volunteers.
According to the National Association of Town Watch, they claim there are more than 16,000 communities with 38 million neighborhoods involved. Beyond formal organizations, many people rely on neighbors to keep an eye on their home and property.I have never participated in a formal neighborhood watch program. However, my mother and I have watched over homes when the owners were out of town.
It’s always very rewarding to perform such duties and to report that everything is going ok.