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What Is Crime Watch

Crime Watch, also known as Neighborhood Watch, or Neighborhood Crime Watch, is when a collection of citizens, usually in a particular neighborhood, or housing complex, organize into a dedicated group to prevent burglary, vandalism, and other crimes.

A Crime Watch group is not a vigilante group, and cannot take the law into their own hands. Crime Watch groups are trained to observe, and report, but not to intervene. The Crime Watch system of today began developing in the later part of the 1960's. The development of the Watch system was in response to the Kitty Genovese case in Queens, New York in 1964. Kitty Genovese was murdered in front of her apartment building, and as many as 38 people were reported to have heard her screams for help, which lasted more than 30 minutes, yet no one called the Police.

In order to combat crime in today's society; the Police Department needs more eyes and ears in the community. The citizens of Tarpon Springs, must get involved, in order to help the Police Department protect you, your family, and your property.

One of the most effective programs to reduce and eliminate crime is when a neighborhood comes together to form a Crime Watch group. Crime Watch is a cooperative effort involving citizens and the Police Department, where the citizens directly participate in the detection of crime and its' prevention. The Crime Watch program does not take the place of the Police Department, nor does it require that citizens take risks, and place themselves in a dangerous situation by taking the law into their own hands.

Crime Watch is not a guarantee that your neighborhood will be 100% crime free. However, neighborhoods with active Crime Watch programs have shown measurable reductions in crime.

Those who participate in Crime Watch are concerned about crime affecting their neighborhood, and believe that their efforts will have an impact on crime. The Tarpon Springs Police Department actively supports the Crime Watch program and the Crime Prevention Office acts as the liaison between the Police department and the Crime Watch neighborhoods.

The Crime Prevention Office trains Crime Watch groups in crime prevention techniques, such as home security, personal safety, and how to recognize and report suspicious activities. The neighbors get to know one another by working together, and keeping an eye on each other's homes and property.

Reasons for a Crime Watch Program In Your Neighborhood

  • Reduces the risk of being the victim of a crime

  • Participants are better prepared to recognize and respond to suspicious activity

  • A greater access to information about criminal activity

  • Crime Watch warning signs posted at each entrance to your neighborhood

  • Meet and get to know your neighbors

  • Reducing the fear of crime and making your neighborhood more livable

  • Allows other issues of concern to be addressed

How To Start A Crime Watch

  • Contact the Crime Prevention Office for information and materials you will need.

  • Telephone: (727) 937-8753

  • E Mail:

  • Select a Director and Co-Director.

  • Block Captains may need to be chosen later.

  • Sign up interested neighbors.

  • Explain why the need for a Crime Watch was established.

  • Select a location to have a meeting to start the Crime Watch program.

  • Neighborhood Clubhouse.

  • Church.

  • Community Center.

  • Police Department.

  • Private residence.

  • Select a day and time for the meeting.

  • Prepare for the meeting by making an agenda, plan refreshments, etc.

  • Crime Prevention Officer presentation of Crime Watch.

  • Invite the residents of the neighborhood to the meeting.

  • Notify residents of meeting date as soon as it is established.

  • Remind residents of meeting date, two days prior.

  • Door to door.

  • Telephone.

  • Community bulletin board.


Reasons A Crime Watch Program Is Successful

  • Everyone in the neighborhood becomes involved

  • Young, Elderly, Married, Single, Homeowner, Renter.

  • Communicate with the Crime Watch participants.

  • Participants have a need to know what is going on in the group and with the program.

  • Participants need to feel like their ideas and inputs are valued.

  • Participants need to feel that the Crime Watch program is working.


Maintain An Active Crime Watch Program

  • Hold regular Meetings

  • Share information with your neighbors

  • Maintain An Active Crime Watch Program

  • Hold regular Meetings

  • Share information with your neighbors


Communication Is The Key

  • Meeting correspondence should be clear and timely in order for people to work it into their schedule

  • Encourage the Block Captains and other neighbors to take a leading role at the meeting

  • Keep meetings as short as possible

  • Develop a neighborhood newsletter, keep it on schedule

  • Develop a website to keep participants informed

  • Develop a telephone and e-mail tree to keep participants informed

  • Make sure that neighbors that have done good things are recognized

  • Keep the neighborhood informed that things are being done

  • Schedule neighborhood social events where communication is more informal

  • Be aware of your interpersonal communications with people


Crime Watch Participants

  • Get to know your neighbors names and be able to recognize them and their vehicles without hesitation

  • Keep your telephone tree and block map up to date and easily accessible

  • Attend as many Crime Watch meetings as possible

  • Implement all security measures suggested by the Crime Prevention office

  • Remain vigilant and watch neighbor's homes and report any suspicious activity to the Police Department

  • Do not take risks to prevent a crime or try to apprehend a criminal, Be A Good Witness.

  • Follow vacation security tips for your home while away

  • Notify your Block Captain and a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home while away



Tarpon Springs Police Department -- "Building a Better Future"
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If you do not want your email address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.


Crime Watch

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