What is Neighborhood Watch?
Neighborhood Watch is a program where neighbors watch out for each other in an effort to make the community safer and improve the quality of life in their neighborhood. It empowers citizens and communities to become active in emergency preparedness in an effort to fight crime. The Neighborhood Watch program was pioneered by the Winchester Police Department to educate community members regarding their roles and responsibilities in the prevention of crime, and to encourage them to take active measures to prevent crime.
There are two Neighborhood Watch groups in the City of Winchester. A guest speaker attends each meeting and answers questions from local residents.
- The North End Neighborhood Watch group meets the third Monday of every month at the Elk’s Lodge at 7 p.m.
The Woodland Avenue Neighborhood Watch group meets on the second Wednesday of every other month in the Debbie Bock Training Room at the Timbrook Public Safety Center at 7 p.m.
If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group in your community contact Lauren Cummings at (540) 545-7548 or Lauren.Cummings@winchesterva.gov
What are my responsibilities as a watch member?
- Be alert
- Know your neighbors and watch out for each other
- Report suspicious activities and crimes to the police department
- Learn how you can make yourself and your community safer
What kind of activities should I be on the lookout for as a watch member?
- Someone screaming or shouting for help
- Someone looking in windows of houses and parked cars
- Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or from closed businesses
- Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination or without lights
- Anyone being forced into a vehicle
- A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child Report these incidents to the police department. Talk about concerns and problems with your neighbors. The non-emergency number for the police department is (540) 662-4131.
How to Report
- Give your name and address.
- Briefly describe the event – what happened, when, where, and who was involved.
- Describe the suspect: sex and race, age, height, weight, hair color, clothing, distinctive characteristics such as beard, mustache, scars, tattoos or accent.
- Describe the vehicle if one was involved: color, make, model, year, license plate, and special features such as stickers, dents, or decals.
Top 10 Tips for a Safe Home
1. Lock doors and windows
2. Crime-proof outside areas
3. Get to know your neighbors
4. Consider an alarm
5. Protect yourself with lock and key
6. Protect your home when traveling
7. Protect your valuables
8. Teach home safety to your kids
9. Have an emergency plan
10. Take a stand – Join a Neighborhood Watch group.
Winchester Police Department
231 E. Piccadilly Street, Suite 310
Winchester, VA 22601
Lauren Cummings – (540) 545-7548