How Does Neighborhood Watch Work?
Neighborhood Watch works by having you and your neighbors use simple techniques to deter, delay, detect and prevent crime, and to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. Being aware of suspicious activity can help keep your neighborhood safe. This helps get everyone on board with promptly reporting all criminal or suspicious activity to the Fresno Police Department at 559-621-7000 or 9-1-1.
How do I start a Neighborhood Watch?
Prior to contacting your neighbors about neighborhood watch, call the Crime Prevention Officer for day and time of availability for your meeting.
You or anyone in the neighborhood can be designated the block captain. The block captain is the liaison between the residences of the area and the Police Department. The meeting can be held at your residence or a location of your choice.
At your meeting, a police department representative will explain how you can create an alert neighborhood by using simple crime prevention methods. They will instruct your group in ways to deter crime. Call your area Crime Prevention Officer when you are ready to schedule a meeting. Meetings are typically one hour long. The best days of the week are Monday through Thursday, starting around 6pm.
How to be a good witness?
If you have witnessed or are witnessing a crime in progress, try to remain calm and remember the most important detail is LOCATION. The more information gathered and disseminated quickly, the better chance police have of preventing further injury, property loss and catching the suspects or person(s) responsible. The last thing the police department wants is for anyone to put themselves in danger while a crime is occurring. However, if you do call to report a crime you will be asked several questions. The following tips will help you to be a good witness:
1. Location, Location, Location. If you don’t know the exact address, try to find a street name, or closest intersection. Landmarks are good for most dispatch staff as well.
2. What happened? Was it a crime or an accident? We will ask direct questions to try and ascertain what the officers will be dealing with at the scene.
3. Is anyone injured? Is medical assistance necessary?
4. Are/were any weapons involved? If so what kind of weapon(s)? Where is the weapon now?
5. Is the suspect still there? Is he/she still in the area? Who is the suspect? What do they look like? The dispatcher will prompt you for a general physical description such as race, height, weight, hair color and clothing the suspect is wearing.
6. If the suspect left, try to get a direction of travel. Did they leave on foot or in a vehicle? If they left in a vehicle, try to get a description of the vehicle (ie. color, make, model, body style and license plate). Be sure to note if there was anything unusual about the vehicle (ie. camper, bumper stickers, broken windshield, tinted windows, etc.)