Division of Criminal Justice Services

New York Neighborhood Watch


Look For these unusual situations

As a member of NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH, call the police about all suspicious activity in your neighborhood. You and your fellow members should report any unusual situations, such as:

  • A stranger entering a neighbor's home or apartment that appears to be unoccupied.
  • Anyone looking into parked cars, or removing parts, gasoline, or license plates from a car.
  • Anyone entering or leaving a place of business after hours, or loitering outside.
  • Breaking glass, gunshots, screams or abnormally barking dogs.
  • Anyone loitering around the neighborhood, schools, or parks.
  • Anyone going door-to-door who tries to open a door, or goes into a backyard.
  • Anyone carrying unwrapped property at any unusual time, or running while carrying property.
  • Any vehicle cruising slowly back and forth on your street.
  • Any abandoned vehicle on your street.
  • Windows or doors recently broken at a home or business.
  • Anyone sitting in a parked car, especially at an unusual hour, outside a home or business.

What Police Need to Know

  • What happened?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • How?
  • Who did it?
Vehicle information: If a vehicle was involved,
  • What was its license plate?
  • Color?
  • Make? Model? Year?
  • Which way did it go?
Vehicle Driver and passenger information:
  • How many people were in the vehicle?
  • Were they armed?
  • What was their sex? Race? Age?
  • Height? Weight? Hair color?
  • Clothing? Shoes?
  • Any unusual characteristics?
  • Did they say anything?

Neighborhood Watch isn't just residential

The corner store where you stop for milk and bread should also be part of your NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH program, even if the owner and employees live in other sections of town.

Somebody getting away with the burglary of the liquor store down the street doesn't just mean the store lost money; it means crime has come to your neighborhood.

Invite local business people to block meetings and give them the opportunity to voice concerns and offer suggestions for improving the neighborhood security.

By working together with local businesses, you can make your neighborhood a safer place to live and work

A word of caution

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH does not mean nosy neighbors trying to stop criminals without the police. As a member, your responsibility is to call the police and report what you've seen - NOT to take action yourself.

How to get a Neighborhood Watch program started

Join your neighbors to organize a NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH program in your community. For information and free materials on how to organize a NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH program in your community, contact your police or sheriff's department, or the New York State Police. You'll be protecting your own home and your own safety.


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