Neighborhood Watch Program


One of the best deterrents to crime is the watchfulness of your neighbors.  

Neighborhood Watch  The purpose of this web page is to tell you how the Neighborhood Watch program works and how to organize and maintain a successful program.   Neighborhood Watch is a citizen organized program coordinated by the police department.  The program uses citizen involvement to secure their own homes and personal property and to report any suspicious activities to the police.

Neighborhood Crime Facts
*Burglary, and auto theft  are the most prevalent neighborhood crimes in the Town of Dover.
*Household burglary is one of the easiest crimes to prevent but one of the hardest to solve.
*Over one-half of police time is spent on investigating burglaries.
*Household burglary is one of the most rapidly increasing major crimes in the nation.
*Most home burglars are young amateurs looking for easy targets.
*Statistics show that in over one-half of household burglaries there was not any forced entry involved.
*A majority of household burglaries occur during daylight hours.
*Household burglary has a high potential for death or injury in cases where the burglar is surprised by the property owner.

Community Policing The Town of Dover Police Department is committed to the community policing philosophy on a department wide scale.  The Neighborhood Watch Program can serve as a communication conduit for citizens to communicate  quality of life issues to the police department.  These quality of life issues, once communicated to the department through the Neighborhood Watch Program, can be addressed through effective planning and coordinated response using all of the resources of the Town of Dover. 

How Neighborhood Watch Works Neighborhood Watch operates to educate participants in the principles of deterrence, delay, and detection. The program depends on a communication network organized with three levels of participants - the resident, block captains and co-captains, and a local law enforcement representative.

Organizing a Program Visit your neighbors and tell them you are interested in discouraging crime in the neighborhood. Ask for help toward this goal.

*Organize a neighborhood meeting. Contact Captain Peter Ugalde to address the group or be present to answer questions.

*The Town of Dover Police Department does not require a specific percentage of participants from a neighborhood to start a Crime Watch group.

*If the group decides to organize a Neighborhood watch program, block captains and co-captains should be elected.

*Block captains should prepare a watch map listing names of people who live in the area, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions for each residence on their block. Copies should be distributed to each household.

*The Town of Dover Police Department has crime prevention trained officers available to assist with various presentations.

*Once the organised block captains should erect street-size Neighborhood Watch signs at each entrance to the neighborhood or block.

The Town of Dover Police Department can be contacted to furnish signs, but in some areas participants have to furnish their own.

Program Duties Since awareness and involvement are the keys to a successful program, keeping interest high and continuing the group's crime prevention education must be a primary focus of all participants. Specific duties include:

Block Captain/Co-Captain
*Schedule periodic group meetings (at least every six to eight  months)
*Act as a liaison between homeowners and the police.
*Invite officers to address the group and show videos on such topics as home security, rape prevention, child molestation, and crimes against the elderly.
*Coordinate home security surveys and Operation I.D.
*Contact new neighbors about the program.
*Keep the watch map data current.
*Disseminate any special information to the group such as crime patterns in the area, homeowners that are on vacation, or attending a function listed in the newspaper such as a wedding or funeral.

*Attend the program meetings and read the newsletter.
*Secure your home and personal property.
*Be alert to suspicious activity and report it immediately.
*Have your newspaper stopped and mail picked up when away.
*Inform your neighbors and block captains if you plan to be away so that special attention can be given to your home.

Neighborhood Watch is a proven crime reduction program. But, like any self-help activity, its success depends upon you and your neighbor.

Remember -  At no time should a member attempt to pursue or apprehend a criminal.  You should simply report the matter to the police from a safe vantage point.