Neighborhood Watch Program
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You and your neighbors know your streets best and will likely be the first to see a crime and call for help. We need your help to reduce, prevent, and report crime.
The Ventura Police Neighborhood Watch Program is a crime prevention effort which relies on an active partnership between residents and the officers who patrol their neighborhoods.
It is important for our officers and staff to hear first-hand what's important to our community. This is not only an opportunity for residents to share concerns and problem-solving ideas; it's a chance for us to personally and professionally connect with those we serve, ultimately enhancing the quality of life in neighborhoods.
Finally, it's important to note that your Neighborhood Watch will only be as effective as you and your neighbors choose to make it. If you apply some effort into maintaining your group with regular communications and meetings, your Neighborhood Watch can be an effective deterrent to criminal activity in your area.
Neighborhood Watch IS:
- A group of neighbors who believe preventing, reducing, and reporting crime is everyone's responsibility.
- A crime prevention program designed for Ventura's residential community.
- Operated by neighbors and supported by the Ventura Police Department.
- A commitment to removing any obstacles that could hinder your safety and well-being, as well as that of your neighbor.
- Neighbors communicating with one an other regularly and learning the working habits of their neighbors- who is gone during the day, who has dogs, who has kids, what cars people own, etc. When you know these things, it becomes easier to spot suspicious people and identify vehicles that are not normally in the neighborhood.
How to start a Neighborhood Watch:
Recruit and organize as many neighbors as possible: Consider hosting a preliminary meeting to gauge neighborhood interest and discuss program benefits and problems you'd like addressed. Ask about convenient times and locations for meetings and pick 2-3 possible dates. A Neighborhood Watch is most successful with buy-in from all in the area.
Meetings can be held at personal residences, public parks, neighborhood schools (with site permission), faith-based locations, and truly any space where you can bring people together.
Meetings spaces do not need to have a TV or screen projector available, although depending on the topics discussed, it may be easiest to display maps, data, and other information this way.
After determining the best location, days and time, please submit a Meeting Request Form to invite an officer. Invite our team to meet with your group at a place and time that is most convenient for you!
At your first meeting, we'll have an officer address what Neighborhood Watch means to us, how to identify and make reports by phone and online, and how to be a good reporting party. It is vital your group work with us, as Neighborhood Watch is a collaborative effort with two-way conversation.
Spread the word on the first meeting:After the meeting date and time has been confirmed with a Ventura PD representative, create a simple flyer, pass out or distribute via text or email and call to let all your neighbors about the meeting. Ask people to RSVP so you know how many to expect.
This does not need to be a major time commitment and does not require special technology like a computer or projector. Meetings can range from 30-60 minutes with no special presentation involved, just open, honest conversation on a topic of your choosing.
Stay involved and stay in touch: Once you've hosted your first meeting and have established yourself as a Neighborhood Watch group, it's important to decide what type of communications will work best for your neighbors. An email list, text message group, or social media group are all great options.
Take action by hosting regular meetings and events: consider connecting with the Neighborhood Community Council in your area and stay connected by hosting special events. The following are a few ideas to stay connected and involved in deterring crime:
- Host a potluck social.
- Conduct a community clean-up. Vacant lots and properties laden with trash, weeds, and graffiti can foster criminal activity and encourage loitering. Remediating these spaces can dramatically affect both perceptions of crime and vandalism, and the acts themselves.
- Schedule a bike rodeo and bike registration event for neighborhood families! Invite us too!
Neighborhood Watch Signs
Neighborhood Watch signs are a great visual deterrent to criminal activity. They let neighbors, visitors, and criminals know that residents in the area are alert, look out for one another, and will call the police to report suspicious or illegal activity. However, they are just one piece of a successful Neighborhood Watch and should not be solely relied upon to prevent crime.
We are providing active Neighborhood Watch groups the opportunity to apply for a public facing, department branded Neighborhood Watch sign be installed in your neighborhood free of charge. To request a sign, please host your first meeting with neighbors and a Ventura Police Officer. Once that first meeting has occurred, we'll be in touch with the sign application.
Neighborhood Watch does NOT...
give residents the power to take law enforcement action when observing suspicious activity and the Ventura Police Department does not encourage residents to "patrol" neighborhoods or put themselves at risk. Community members are the extra eyes and ears of the Ventura Police Department and should report suspicious activity.
Households can also opt-in to receive alerts and information shared by the Ventura Police Department via Nextdoor.com. Any information shared on Nextdoor by community members cannot be viewed, accessed, or shared by government agencies, including VPD. If you are aware of suspicious activity or concerning conversations occurring online, please take a screenshot of the posting and report by calling our 24/7 non-emergency line at 805-650-8010.