Neighborhood Watch Programs and Citizen Patrol

Neighborhood watch and citizen patrols are groups of organized citizens developing horizontal surveillance practices to serve as tools for crime prevention. They require people’s involvement in horizontal surveillance with the aim of deterring crime and antisocial behavior. Oftentimes, neighborhood watch schemes are official programs fostered by law enforcement and security bodies, who train citizens to exert informal social control in their communities. Citizen patrols are groups of people patrolling the streets with similar aims, but not necessarily as part of an official government program. The structure of citizen patrols is fragmented and complex, and the methods they use, the composition of their schemes, and the crimes they target vary between countries and evolve over time. Their effectiveness in terms of reducing actual crime rates has ...

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