The model program for what became
Neighborhood Watch was developed by the
Sheriffs Association in early 1972. It was first used in an
attempt to stop the increasing burglary rate. It was found that
communities who had obtained the assistance of their citizens in the
observation and reporting of suspicious and criminal activity, were
able to keep the burglary rate down.
Neighborhood Watch works if people
want to assume a more active role in making their community safer.
Since it is impractical to place a police officer on every corner of
every neighborhood, it is more practical to have help from the
people who live there. The neighborhood residents know who belongs
there and who doesn't and what activity is suspicious. The main
reason Neighborhood Watch can be successful is that citizens can
begin working with, instead of relying on, law enforcement to combat
crime in their community.