Neighborhood watch helps keep crime down in one subdivision

October 5, 2010 4:07:35 PM PDT
Residents in communities across our area are coming together tonight in an effort to get to know each other. It's a simple thing that police say can go a long way to prevent crime. The Oaks of Inwood subdivision is hosting one of four National Night Out events that Houston's police chief will be attending this evening, but residents say the neighborhood doesn't have a crime problem -- for a reason.

It's a 20-year-old subdivision with manicured lawns, well-maintained houses and a civic club that looks for deed restriction violations.

"The idea being that if we keep things up in that area it'll discourage crime," said Jerald Linsley, Civic Club Member.

It's worked. No one here can recall violent crime in their neighborhood. There have been a few break-ins, but no carjackings, no home invasions along the quiet streets and that may be in part because of retirees like Robert Crane who's part of the neighborhood watch.

"If I see anything, I'll call the police. But so far I haven't," Crane said.

And yet about a mile away is an abandoned apartment complex. It's been vandalized and set to be repaired or demolished. But according to our exclusive Crime Tracker, crime is down in the area by six percent for the first part of this year compared to last.

But the subdivision has a bigger goal than that -- crime free. And each year it participates in the National Night Out.

Where neighbors gather, they remember faces and share stories and concerns. They do it every year.

"I think they're more conscious of things. You have to look out and not let anybody take advantage of you, cause you have to watch all the time," said homeowner Stan Banks.

The neighborhood watch is staffed by a lot of retirees and that may be one of its biggest assets.


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