“The community are the police and the police are the community. The only difference being, the police are paid to give full time attention to something which is the responsibility of every citizen.” (Modern version) ~ Sir Robert Peel
Citizens on Patrol/Crime Watch is a police supported, community led program aimed at reducing crime in the community through the active participation of citizens in crime prevention and patrol activities.
As such, there are roles and responsibilities that each participant must adhere to which will ensure that the program meets its objectives. These roles and responsibilities become the agreement by which the police and the volunteers work together.
Over the years, community based policing has been adopted by the RCMP and some municipal police services. This type of policing encourages citizen involvement in the process of helping to prevent crime in the communities. The focus of Citizens on Patrol /Crime Watch is a good fit within that mandate.
The primary activity of Citizens on Patrol/Crime Watch members is the active patrol within their communities looking for incidents of crime. When crime is observed, Citizens on Patrol members immediately report this crime to their team leader or detachment. Secondary activities may include Crime Prevention activities relating to the awareness and prevention of community safety issues.
Citizens on Patrol/Crime Watch groups tend to operate independently from the police as to their general patrolling policies and procedures. In these cases, they are not under the direct supervision of the police. However, they are required to abide by policies and procedures set forth by the Coordinator or Police Liaison Officer and the general operational policies of the police.