Neighborhood Crime Watch efforts on the rise

More signs like these are going up around Marion County.
Published: .
Updated: .
Neighbors helping neighbors. That's what Crime Watch groups are all about. With the spike in violent crime over the last year, more than 100 such neighborhood groups have either started or re-started to better protect their communities. 

People are getting the message that Crime Watch works. With more than 800 groups throughout Indianapolis and many more Crime Watch signs popping up in neighborhoods, communities have learned that when they look out for one another, the criminals look elsewhere.

The IMPD North District is the largest zone in the city with the largest number of new or reorganized Crime Watch groups over the last year, totaling nearly 40.  IMPD says they're being contacted by a lot of groups who have never had Crime Watch before. The Community Relations team will come in, provide the street signs, then help organize and educate the residents about being more proactive when calling police.

"That's basically what Crime Watch is," said Sgt. Mike Hanson, Indianapolis Metro Police Department (IMPD). "We're not asking you to be the police.  We certainly don't want you out confronting suspects. But, we do want you to pay attention to what's going on. Who better knows who belongs in your neighborhood than you do?" 

Sgt. Hanson gives an example of how, back in the 1950s and 60s, everyone knew everyone in the neighborhood. Neighbors knew what was going on, when things were out of place, and weren't afraid to speak up and let someone know. Those same principles apply with Crime Watch — if it doesn't look right, call police and let them come take a look. Better safe than sorry.

IMPD North isn't the only district seeing tremendous growth in Crime Watch. Every zone in the city is expanding.

Click here to learn how to start a neighborhood Crime Watch group.