“We believe that some of this criminal activity can be prevented through a heighten awareness by homeowners and coordinated efforts by neighborhoods and communities to watch out for one another,” said Sheriff C. David Stone.
Stone said that most people know what routines and activities are normal for their neighborhood.
“Quite often someone sees something out of the ordinary but fails to report it,” he said. “Neighborhood Watch Programs are an effort to encourage communities to become more aware of their surroundings and to be better observers, to watch out for each other and to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
Citizen involvement in programs like Crime Watch is “more more important now than ever before because of changes in society,” Stone said.
“Our great-grandparents and maybe even grandparents lived in houses that had large front porches that were the center of neighborhood social activity, especially in the evenings and on Sundays,” he said. “In the 60s homes were built with just a small front stoup; society had migrated around to the back deck or patio.”
But Stone said that in the decades that followed people became more mobile and old, privacy fences were erected and established neighborhoods became a thing of the past.
“Although our ability to communicate is greater today than ever before through Internet and social media, people may be communicating half a world away and not with the person next door,” he said. “Isolation within communities is greater than ever before as well.”
Crime Watch, Stone said, “is an effort to enhance personal communication within neighborhoods and to strengthen communities which is a common goal of crime prevention.”
Any neighborhood, community group, church or organization that would like to have a deputy meet with them about a crime watch program, or if you would like additional information, please call the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office at 898-5500.