Neighborhood Watch Training
If you are a resident of the UK, and you are part of a community of people who has recently established a neighborhood watch, then training becomes the next logical step. Establishing a clear protocol for the ways in which members are to conduct themselves allows everyone to be on the same page. It is not hard to find highly publicized instances in which a neighborhood watch system failed to work properly. People of the UK can learn plenty from the disaster that was the Trayvon Martin case in the U.S. This was a case which divided both the Florida community, and the nation, along racial lines. However, establishing clear procedures can help to stop such instances from occurring in your own neighborhood.
One of the first orders of business is to establish a clear hierarchy within the group. There should be leaders from the top down, and votes should be held to determine who is the best fit for the position of leader. The leader is not allowed to deviate from the plans of the group, however. A leader’s role is to establish order at meetings, raise significant issues, and to help make decisions when votes are split. The leader should also be the most knowledgable member in regard to providing information to new members who move into the neighborhood.
Perhaps the most important part of any UK-based neighborhood watch training would be what to do in the case of a suspicious person. This is tricky, as you do not want your group to promote an atmosphere of distrust and paranoia. There needs to be guidelines which allow members to make educated decisions based upon what they view within the neighborhood. Training needs to incorporate clearly defined instances of suspicious people. Using looks and dress style alone are not adequate procedures. However, members should be trained to raise the alarm if they see an unfamiliar person who is looking into car or home windows, for example.
A clear line of communication must also be established. In times when immediate police intervention is required, the neighborhood watch member should call them immediately without the consent of the group. This would apply when a violent crime occurs, or if there is a robbery or burglary in progress. In cases of child abduction, the police should be alerted, and all watch members should be informed as quickly as possible. What this does is it allows people to mobilize and then to spread out quickly to be much more effective.
Everyone who plans to be an active member of the neighborhood watch team needs to be present for training days. Indeed, training might last for the duration of the neighborhood watch program. This is due to the fact that unforeseen situations will surely arise over time. If everyone is willing to train to be prepared in the event of a crisis, then the entire community will be much more safe. A neighborhood watch program is one of the best ways to feel comfortable within your own home.