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Complete the following sections for your research proposal:

  • Title page: Follow APA formatting for the title page.
  • Introduction: present your topic, a problem statement, and some general information about your topic.
  • Review of Literature: Summarize at least five relevant/related research studies relating to your chosen topic. No older than 3-5 years old for research purposes.
  • Variables: Give a brief description of your independent variable and dependent variable.
  • Hypothesis: Provide the specific hypothesis statement which includes the independent and dependent variable.
  • References: You must include correctly-formatted APA in-text citations in the body of your proposal, and a matching reference list in appropriate APA form.

Remember to format your work consistent with APA guidelines.

See the attached document for an example.

Neighborhood Watch Proposal 1

Unit 8 draft proposal: Neighborhood Watch Programs

Student Name


CJ 490 Research Methods in Criminal Justice



Neighborhood Watch Proposal 2

Neighborhood Watch Programs

The term “home,” can have several meanings to many different people. But most

people associate this word with their place of residence or where they seek refuge. Of all places,

a person’s home should not be a place they fear falling victim to crime, but instead, as a place

where they feel safe and secure. When a person comes home after a long day of work to discover

their home has been broken into and all of their prized possessions have been stolen, it is normal

to feel angry, and violated because that’s what it is, a violation. For the most part, burglaries are

a crime of opportunity. A burglar can sit and watch someone’s house all day and know exactly

what time they go to work and return home. According to the Texas Crime Statistics and Rates

Report, in 2009 there were 240,233 burglary incidents and a total of 995,145 property crime

incidents in Texas (“Texas Crime Statistics,” n.d.). Reports from 2012 are already showing an

increase in these numbers compared to 2009 (“Texas crime statistics,” n.d.). This is alarming and

neighborhood watch could be the solution. In 1972, the National Sheriffs’ Association founded

the Neighborhood Watch Program with the intentions of helping police reduce crimes in

neighborhoods (Campbell, n.d.). While the main focuses of Neighborhood Watch programs are

to prevent crime, they may also educate and strengthen the community.

Review of Literature:

Almost 2 years ago, residents of Salisbury, New Hampshire lost their police department

when their 2-man force suddenly resigned. Since then, they have been unable to fill the empty

positions, so the state police have been providing coverage for the community. Members of the

Salisbury community are now looking to create a neighborhood watch program, not to replace

law enforcement, but to enhance the coverage already being supplied by the state (McCrystal,

Neighborhood Watch Proposal 3

2012). The idea of a neighborhood watch program in this community already exists, it’s just not

formalized. Many residents already watch for suspicious people or behavior so formalizing the

program will simply give them someone to call when suspicious behavior or activity does take

place. Members of the Salisbury community have great reason to push for the implementation of

Neighborhood Watch programs. Not only is it believed to reduce crime, but it is also thought to

bring the community together as well.

According to the St. Petersburg, FL police department, Neighborhood Crime Watch is

one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear (Uniform

Services Bureau, n.d.). They strongly feel that their neighborhood watch program reduces crime

and brings the department and the members of the community together. They accomplish this by

holding meetings, assigning members to monitor the neighborhood (citizens’ patrol), having

Regular discussions between the neighbors, Crime Prevention Officers and Community Police

Officers, and by holding special events to inform the public about the program and its purpose.

Burglary and vandalism are two of the main crimes that haunt all members of every

community and neighborhood watch programs help deter this type of behavior. While these

programs have many names, Crime Watch, Block Watch, or Community Watch, its success

comes from the commitment of the police department and the members of the community to

come together and fight crime. Thousands of neighborhood watch programs exist across the U.S.

because it is thought to be one of the most effective ways members of communities can reduce

crime in their neighborhoods. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community

Policing Services led a meta-analysis of studies on neighborhood watch programs and

Neighborhood Watch Proposal 4

determined that neighborhoods with watch programs had 16 percent less crime in comparison to

neighborhoods without watch programs (Holloway, Bennett, & Farrington, 2008). Burglary is

one of the most widespread crimes committed and it makes up more than one third of the index

crimes in the United States (Uniform Crime Reports, 2013). Not only are people’s residences

threatened when this crime is committed, but some even lose their life by inadvertently walking

in on an unsuspecting burglar. Neighborhood watch programs are designed to spot suspicious

behavior; thus it is successful in preventing this type of crime. In addition, Neighborhood Watch

signs and decals provided to the program from law enforcement allows them to display their

existence which deters criminals from their neighborhood.

Problem statement and theoretical assumption:

Problem Statement: Neighborhoods without watch groups may have high crime rates.

Theory: Neighborhood watch groups should decrease crime in general and burglary specifically.

Variables and Hypothesis:

The independent variable is watch program.

The dependent variable is average burglary rate.

The hypothesis is “Neighborhoods with watch programs are less likely to have burglaries than

neighborhoods without watch programs.”

Neighborhood Watch Proposal 5


Campbell, M. (n.d.). Purpose of neighborhood watch. Retrieved on 3/15/2012 from eHow.com:


Holloway, K., Bennett, T., & Farrington, D. P. (2008). Crime prevention review no. 3: Does

neighborhood watch reduce crime? Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice Office

of Community Oriented Policing Services.

McCrystal, L. (2012, June 25). Neighborhood watch proposed. Retrieved on 4/16/2012 from

Concord Monitor: http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/337992/neighborhood-watch-




Uniform Services Bureau. (n.d.). Neighborhood crime watch. Retrieved on 3/15/2013 from St.

Petersburg Police Department: http://www.stpete.org/police/crime-prev/crime-watch.html

———. (n.d.). Neighborhood watch program. Retrieved on 4/16/2012 from Directory M

Articles: http://articles.directorym.com/Neighborhood_Watch_Program-a571.html

———- . (n.d.). Texas crime statistics and rates report (TX). Retrieved on 3/15/2012 from

CityRating.com: http://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/texas/

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