The Eyes and Ears of Boise, Idaho

Community Watch Vest

According to Usa on Watch, over 38 percent of the U.S. population is involved in some type of Neighborhood Watch program.

In the U.S., the Neighborhood Watch rolled into existence during the late 1960's as a result of increased burglary rates across the country. As a result, Neighborhood Watch programs began hitting American towns, and launched what has become one of the oldest and tried and true crime prevention methods in the country. In residential areas, powered by the involvement of local citizens, these watch programs build safe and healthy neighborhoods by adding home and personal safety as well as a sense of community to homeowners.

After the initiative of concerned citizens and their efforts, the National Sheriff's Association responded, and officially created the National Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972. Today, the face of Neighborhood Watch is USA on Watch, launched by the partnership between NSA and USA Freedom Corps, Citizen Corps and the U.S. Department of Justice. They've observed it over and over: communities where residents watch out for suspicious and criminal activities and report what they see to law enforcement agencies experience a drop in burglary rates as well as other crimes. Neighborhood Watch has now become the single greatest organized crime prevention initiative in the country.

In 1980, Boise, Idaho began implementing its own Neighborhood Watch Programs with the effort of the Boise Police Department, and neighborhoods across the city have experienced a reduction in crime ever since. As a program that encourages community service and involvement – one of its main purposes is to be the “eyes and ears of law enforcement.” Boise, Idaho isn't the only city to take an active involvement in the safety of its neighborhoods – roughly 22,000 formal Neighborhood Watch groups have started in the last ten years, and more than twice as many informal groups are estimated to be in effect.

Police CarIn addition to the Neighborhood Watch programs in effect around Idaho's capital city, the area is set apart from other metropolitans with an impressive low crime rate, one of the many reasons that helps Boise culminate into one of the best places to live and do business. With a small town atmosphere that has the second lowest crime rate in the West, it's no wonder that national publications have a love affair with our communities. On a national scale, Idaho's violent crime rate is the sixth lowest.

In fact, Boise, Idaho crime statistics report an overall downward trend in crime based off of information from the last 12 years. Violent and property crimes continue to decrease, and based on this trend, crime rates in Boise for 2013 are expected to be even lower than they were in 2010. Boise's violent crimes are 35.15 percent lower than the national violent crime rate statistics.

So, how does a Neighborhood Watch group get started? Whether it's a single motivated neighbor or a group, anyone can launch the program. Efforts begin with contacting the Boise Police Crime Prevention Unit for more information and to schedule the initial meeting with the neighbors. At the initial meeting, participants can expect to discuss any issues of concern, train members in home security and reporting skills, and provide information on crime in the area. There are no restrictions as to who can become involved in these programs, whether you're a renter in the area, a homeowner, young or old.

It's hard to say how much our city's Neighborhood Watch Programs contribute to Boise's exceptionally low crime rates, but the facts remain the same – these are some of the safest streets in the country. If you want specific information on Boise and Idaho's crime statistics, maps and detailed summaries are available online at the Idaho State Police web site.

For all your buying and selling needs throughout Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Kuna, and Star, Idaho, contact Hughes Real Estate Group at (208) 571-7145 anytime to get started.


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