City of Lavon

Crime Watch


Neighborhood Crime Watch Program

Lavon's Neighborhood Crime Watch Program is sponsored by the Lavon Police Department and is one of several projects to focus on their Crime prevention initiatives. The Crime Watch is a group of neighbors looking out for each other. It is getting to know each other and becoming familiar with your neighbors' habits and vehicles so that you will know when something is suspicious or out of the ordinary.

In addition to recognizing potential suspicious activities, Crime Watch participants report such activity by calling the police. All of this doesn't make you a nosey neighbor - it makes you a good neighbor in the old-fashioned sense of the word.

Many people don't want to bother the police because they are afraid that it may not be a real emergency or that they may be embarrassed if their suspicions turn out to be unfounded. The police would much rather be called out to investigate than to be called after a crime has been committed. When in doubt, always call 911. The 911 dispatch center is staffed with trained operators who will evaluate your call, rank its priority, and dispatch it to the appropriate officer.

DO NOT take unnecessary chances by attempting to confront a suspicious person. Crime watch does NOT mean being a vigilante. Participants do not confront suspects or take any personal risks at all.

Contact your Neighborhood Captain or the Lavon Police Department to find out specifically what Crime Watch can do for you and what you can do for Crime Watch. Some basics are:

Keep Informed

Attend area Crime Watch meetings, read the Crime Watch materials provided to you. Learn about crime prevention and share the information with your neighbors.

Volunteer

Offer your help whenever you can. Many neighborhood groups need help with copying or distribution of materials, telephone calls, meetings, refreshments, etc. Pitch in to help whenever and wherever you can.

    You will be more aware of the types of crimes in your area and how to prevent them from happening to you.

    You will learn about crime prevention techniques to make your family, property, and neighborhood safer.

    You and your family will feel safer, which may be almost as important as actually being safe!

    You will meet more neighbors and develop new friendships.

    You will have neighbors who will look out for your property when you are away and vice versa.

    You will have a sense of accomplishment from doing something about crime.

Take Action

You can help prevent crime by using proven crime prevention measures that will go a long way toward keeping you from becoming a crime victim:

    Keep your home's doors, garage, and windows shut and locked at all times.

    Improve your outdoor lighting.

    Don't leave lawn equipment or toys outside or in an open garage.

    Keep car doors locked and windows shut while driving and when parked.

    Don't keep valuables in plain view inside your car.

    Check behind when turning into your neighborhood and again before turning into your alley or driveway. If someone is in close proximity, drive past your home to a well lit and populated area to call 911.

    Remember that as many crimes occur during daylight hours as at night. Don't let your guard down because it is day.

    Take vacation precautions:

    Ask someone to pick up mail and newspapers daily.

    Arrange to have your lawn mowed or leaves raked.

    Even better, have someone stay in your home while you are away, if this is possible.

Sounds simple doesn't it? But it works!


Home Security

Thieves look for what police term "targets of opportunity." There are many things you can do to avoid becoming one of these targets, especially when you are going to be away from your home for an extended period.

  • Contact the Lavon Police Department before leaving and request that your home be added to the Housewatch List. Your house will be checked periodically while you are away.
  • Double check second floor and basement windows, areas which are often forgotten.
  • Make sure that exterior areas will not give your absence away. Arrange to have mail and deliveries either stopped or picked up by a neighbor.
  • Leave a car in the driveway. Have outside lights turned off and on with a home timer. Arrange to have the lawn cut and the bushes trimmed.
  • Have several timers attached to lights in various locations throughout the house. One timer can be programmed to turn one light on and off several times during the evening.
  • Several timers performing the same function can give a very "lived-in" look to a home. This same practice with home timers can be utilized with TV's and radios, giving an added sound element to the "lived-in" look.
  • Ask your neighbors to check your home regularly, and leave a number with them where you can be reached. Ask neighbors also to use your garbage cans. Spotters for burglars sometimes work for trash collectors. Ask neighbors to also pick up handbills or circulars.
  • While it is advisable to notify police and a neighbor of your planned absence, don't tell everyone about your plans. Don't leave notes on the door for neighbors, deliverymen, etc.
  • If, upon returning from your trip, you spot evidence of a break-in, do not enter the house. Call the police at once! The burglar may still be inside.
  • Make a list by serial number, date purchased, and price of expensive items, and keep the list in a safe place, not in your home. While doing so, mark valuables with an engraving tool.
  • Doors and windows should be equipped with deadbolt locks, rather than spring bolt locks.
  • House numbers should be at least 4" to 6" high, reflective and visible from the street.
  • Good exterior lighting all around residence perimeter creates a psychological barrier. Consider motion activated light fixtures.
  • Trim shrubs away from windows, doorways and porches. Shrubs and other barriers provide cover for burglars.
  • Exterior doors should be of solid construction with secure frames and locking hardware. Use a deadbolt with at least a 1" to 1-1/2" bolt throw. Treat door from garage to inside the house as an exterior door.
  • Windows within 18 feet of the ground should be treated as first floor windows. Windows should be working and retro-fit with locking hardware.
  • Ensure that all exterior doors (including overhead garage door) are LOCKED when you are not home.
  • Install a "Charlie Bar" or commerical locking device for sliding doors.
  • Inventory and photograph your property.
  • Join the Neighborhood Watch group.