Keeping our Lakeshore neighborhoods safe from criminal mischief, vandalism and other criminal activities is a responsibility of all of us who live here. Not only should we be concerned about our own personal property but, we should also be concerned about what happens to our neighbor’s property.
Acts of crime can have a “spillover effect.” And, Texas law does give you the right to protect your neighbor’s property. You can find more information on protecting one’s property on the Internet. Texas Penal Code § 9.41 Protection of One’s Own Property; §9.42 Deadly Force to Protect Property; and, §9.43 Protection of Third Party’s Property.
I am by no means advocating or encouraging use of force in protecting your property. This is just to create an awareness of your rights. We observe and report. IMMEDIATE NOTIFICATION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO PRECINCT 4 CONSTABLE’S DISPATCH (281-376-3472).
If we can generate enough interest, and participation, at our next Crime Watch Meeting (Lakeshore Clubhouse Tuesday, April 11 at 7:00PM), I would like to discuss development of a Neighborhood Watch program.
WHAT IS NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH? Crime or the fear of crime provides the impetus for residents to become better informed on how to protect themselves and their property. Neighborhood Watch operates under two principles: 1) when neighbors get to know and watch out for each other, they watch out for each other’s property as though it was their own. 2) Neighborhood Watch helps to create an identity within the neighborhood, which in turn fosters a sense of pride, and belonging for the participants.
Neighbors are asked to be the eyes and ears in helping the police in apprehending criminals. Neighborhood Watch is not designed to substitute for police protection. Rather, it is an extension or supplement in assisting the police in making neighborhoods safer for all residents.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PARTICIPANT GUIDELINES
Participation in Neighborhood Watch is not something that takes a lot of time. It does require each person to adopt a more observant and active attitude on a daily basis.
As a result, neighbors will get to know each other better and will become more aware of strange cars, persons or circumstances that might require calling the police.
What participants do to make their homes more secure and how alert they become is entirely up to them. The more prepared individuals are, the more effective they will be as a weapon against crime.
• Get to know your neighbors. Know their names and be able to identify them and their vehicles by sight.
• Maintain a map of the immediate neighborhood with names and addresses.
• Mark all property for identification using the “Operation Identification” program.
• Be observant and watch over neighbors’ homes, especially when they are not at home or out of town.
• Write down license numbers and descriptions of suspicious-looking vehicles and persons in the neighborhood (the camera in your cell phone can be a very effective tool in this regard) and report them to the police immediately.
• Report information that may be helpful in solving a crime to the police.
• Educate children in crime prevention. Teach them respect and friendship for law enforcement officers.