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Neighborhood Watch

What is a Neighborhood Watch Group?

Neighborhood Watch is a resident involvement program, where residents work with the Manchester Police Department and directly participate in the detection and prevention of crime. The Manchester Police Department assists members of the community in forming Neighborhood Watch Groups. The Watch Groups DO NOT belong to Police Department, they belong to the neighborhood.

The Watch Groups and police work together to prevent and fight crime, also to improve the quality of life in the City’s neighborhoods.

  • Police officers offer information and advice to the Watch Groups.
  • Watch Groups act as extra eyes and ears for the Police Department.
  • Officers teach Watch Group members how criminals often work, what types of suspicious activity to watch for and how to report it. Officers also communicate with residents how Watch Group members can protect themselves and their property from crime.
  • By participating in a Watch Group, neighbors get to know each other better and look out for each other. 

Neighborhood Watch is NOT

Neighborhood Watch is not a group of vigilantes or lawless people taking the law into their own hands. Residents do not enforce laws or apprehend criminals.

Why Watch Groups Work

Police Officers are a limited resource. Although there is 24/7 police coverage, an officer is not in your neighborhood 24/7. Concerned residents are an unlimited resource and become an extension of the police (the eyes and ears of the neighborhood 24/7)

How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Group

  • Meet with your neighbors to share concerns about crime and other issues in your area
    • involve everyone: young and old, homeowner and renter, businesses
    • visit neighbors, door-to-door, to recruit members.
  • Inform the Manchester Police Department Community Police Unit at 628-6132 ext 5430 that you plan to form a Watch Group. Community Police Officers will provide advice and crime prevention information.
  • The Watch Group will come up with a plan, set priorities, and elect officers. It's important to share the work so 1 or 2 people are not doing all of the work.

Once Your Neighborhood Watch Group Is Organized

  • Meetings can be held anywhere: a neighbor's house, a community center or school, etc. A Watch Group can sponsor events, such as participating in the National Night Out or a neighborhood pot-luck dinner.
  • Meetings are usually held once a month or every other month.
  • Meetings include time for socializing and time to talk about neighborhood conditions. Meetings can also be educational: the Community Police Unit can speak at meetings or assist Watch Groups in finding speakers to talk about topics the Watch Group is interested in.  Some topics might be:
    • Personal safety
    • Safety strategies for seniors
    • How to detect and report suspicious activity
    • Graffiti and vandalism prevention
    • Home security surveys
    • Home and neighborhood clean up
    • Child safety and security
    • Rights of landlords and tenants
    • Property identification
    • Conflict resolution/mediation
    • Fire safety and prevention
    • Schools/gangs/truancy
    • Consumer fraud and scams
    • Eliminating drug dealing and gangs
    • Internet access and security

Benefits of Neighborhood Watch Groups

  • Neighbors get to know one another
  • Prevents criminal activity
  • Improves the quality of life in the neighborhood
  • Residents feel safer and less afraid. They do not have to deal with the physical, emotional, and financial costs of crime.
  • Neighborhoods often work with other neighborhoods and community agencies on common concerns.
  • Strengthens police and community relations.

Existing Manchester Neighborhood Watch Groups

  • Cashin Senior Center
  • Manchester Gardens
  • Rimmon Street Heights
  • Nighthawks (Amherst St)
  • Corey Square (Ash/Lowell)
  • Francis Ward House (Union/Merrimack)
  • Benoit Crime Watch (Massabesic/Clifford)
  • Eagle Eyes (Lake/Lincoln)
  • Neighborhood Action Group (Lincoln/Howe)
  • Somerville Action Group (Somerville/Belmont)
  • Bakersville (Calef/Welch)
  • Elmwood (Elmwood Garderns)
  • Neighbors Fighting Crime (Dickey/Sylvester)
  • Rosecliff Watch Group (Megan Drive area)
  • Manchester South Crime Watch (Brown Ave/Hazelton)
  • Ledgewood (Heritage Way)
  • Glady’s (Mystic/Beech)
  • Oak Hill (Oak Hill area)
  • Maple St/Blodgette St
  • North End NWG (Everett/ W Clark St)
  • ManchVegas Crime Fighters (Eastern Ave)
  • Pond View Terrace (Circle Rd area)
  • Hunters Village Way (Hunters Village)
  • Mall of New Hampshire

If you would like to join a current group or start a new group in your area, you can contact the Manchester Community Police Unit at (603) 628-6132 ext 5430 or via email at neighborhoodwatch@manchesternh.gov.