Neighborhood watch signs are signs that I put out throughout a neighborhood letting criminals know that the people in the neighborhood are actively working with police to protect their community.
Neighborhood Watch signs can prove instrumental in keeping your neighborhood safe and sound.
When neighbors collaborate and work with law enforcement agencies, they make an effective team. Neighborhood Watch signs can help you play your role in ensuring everyone’s safety. Keep in mind that people acting on their own will never win the battle against crime – which is why it is vital to work together.
Sure, neighborhood watch signs are helpful for the community, but how can we use them? This article sheds light on everything there is to know about watch signs and where you can find them.
Let’s get it started.
How Do Neighborhood Watch Signs Work & What are their Benefits
You’ve been successful with your neighborhood watch program. Now, the concept of constructing boards on every corner is making you wonder: do neighborhood watch signs work?
The effectiveness of a neighborhood watch system depends on the neighborhood itself. The existence and success of these programs rely on how willing you are to make it work.
For instance, areas with the highest crime rates often do not have effective programs that deter criminal activities. This might be because the members of the community refuse to meet or attend meetings regarding such matters.
In situations like these, where the neighborhood members neglect their duties, watch signs can be used as an alternative.
In 2009, research was released that evaluated the impact of neighborhood watch signs in communities and its influence on criminals.
The study revealed that watch signs suggest decreased levels of crime in the area where they are located. On the other hand, defaced or age-related symbols on a sign can negatively influence the spectators.
So, what can neighborhood watch signs do for your community? Prefer to keep reading to find out.
1. Fight crime in the most effective manner
The most obvious and understandable reason to fill your neighborhood with watch signs is to prevent crime. Sure, communicating regularly by arranging group meetings is helpful, but you can’t always be there to deter criminals. Hence, neighborhood watch signs will directly look the criminal in the eyes and say, “I got my eyes on you!”
2. Create camaraderie and awareness
Another fantastic benefit of adding signs to every corner of your neighborhood is to keep the residents safe, with the idea of making the place more welcoming and safe.
3. Shed light on various aspects
Neighborhood Watch signs aren’t restricted to one purpose. They can be used for many different factors, including health signs that discourage smoking or “keep your area clean” signs that promote a green environment.
Using other banners or signs can help to strengthen your neighborhood from every angle.
The Three Best Types of Neighborhood Watch Signs & their Purposes
Many communities use neighborhood watch programs to deter criminals and battle crime. After the National Sheriff’s Association, NSA, in 2002 has registered over 22,000 watch schemes on its affiliate. As these groups multiply, several crime watch signs appear in local areas, neighborhoods, and towns.
Neighborhood watch signs come in three basic categories, the “Stepford Family,” the ambiguous “Floating Eye,” and “Boris the Burglar.”
Interestingly, each of these watch signs’ captions and artwork evokes very surprising and often contrasting feelings, starting from safety and warmth to suspicion and outrage.1. The Stepford Family
Perhaps one of the best-suited signs for developing a positive neighborhood watch environment, the “Stepford Family” sign, represents a loving family living under a roof.
It uses the classic outline of the triangular female figure and linear male figure. You may notice that the sign is basically a silhouette of the idealized nuclear family representing the American Dream with a younger daughter and an older son.
Notwithstanding the underlying warning, the combo of the words and image engenders a feeling of security and safety.
People in this neighborhood live peacefully and safely because their fellow neighbors look out for each other as a family. Thus, this sign encourages a caring community’s cheerful atmosphere, fostering the most effective neighborhood watch.
Moreover, this sign is simple and easy to understand, so it is the most highly preferred sign in every neighborhood.
4. The Ambiguous “Floating Eye”
The “Floating Eye” sign is popularly used in many local communities. It is a combination of surrounding blue shades surrounding an almond-shaped blob dotted with a dark, large pupil. The design of the eye is sophisticated and sleek but ambiguous as well.
Signs are meant to be processed efficiently and quickly. The “Floating Eye,” however, is a bit confusing, and the average passerby cannot comprehend what the image is trying to represent.
The large text with the smaller graphics also represents the power of the sign. Instead of feeling safe or intimidated, the reader gets rattled.
Regardless of being confusing, this is a good sign for the neighborhood. It presents a strong message of concern.
5. Boris the Burglar
This is a characteristic neighborhood object; Boris stares at bystanders or passers from under his slanted hat with a strange smirk. His all-black, haunting figure hides behind a barred symbol.
The purpose of this sign is to intimidate criminals. The caption, which is without frills, and quite comprehensive, seeks to discourage criminals.
How Much do Neighborhood Watch Signs Cost?
Neighborhood letters and signs cost depend on the size, quantity of notes, images, and the material used to create it.
Generally speaking, plastic signs are the most affordable, and they can be done within $200 to $1000. But if you want to make your messages more intense and useful, you may have to pay more.
Regardless of the price, it is in your neighborhood’s best interests to have watch signs. These boards can ACTUALLY save lives, whether you believe it not.
The next time you want to do something helpful and practical for your neighborhood, try incorporating watch signs!
You will be doing a massive favor to everyone, including yourself. It’s great if you have a watch group. But it’d be even better if you could use watch signs to add an “I’m watching you” impression on every criminal that tries to mess with your neighborhood.