Better evidence for a better world

Campbell evidence and gap maps

Coming soon – Campbell EGMs are a new evidence synthesis product. Plain language summaries of our EGMs will be published on this website. The interactive EGMs and full EGM reports will be available in our journal on the Wiley Online Library platform: click here.



Learn more about Campbell EGMs

Other EGMs

Campbell has produced maps on other topics, sometimes in partnership with other organisations.



See our other EGMs
The effectiveness of Neighborhood Watch

Additional Info

  • Authors: Trevor Bennett, David Farrington, Katy Holloway
  • Published date: 2008-12-31
  • Coordinating group(s): Crime and Justice
  • Type of document: Review, User abstract
  • See the full review: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2008.18
Objectives

The primary aim of this review is to assess the effectiveness of neighborhood watch in reducing crime. Neighborhood watch sometimes comprises a stand-alone scheme and sometimes includes additional program elements. The most common combination of program elements is the ‘big three’ (neighborhood watch, property marking and security surveys). Studies were selected for inclusion in the review if they were based on a watch scheme either alone or in combination with any of the other ‘big three’ elements.

Criteria for inclusion of studies

Neighborhood watch sometimes comprises a stand-alone scheme and sometimes includes additional program elements. The most common combination of program elements is the ‘big three’ (neighborhood watch, property marking and security surveys). Studies were selected for inclusion in the review if they were based on a watch scheme either alone or in combination with any of the other ‘big three’ elements. The main quality control was that the studies should be based on random allocation or a pre-post test design with a comparison area.

Search strategy

Studies were identified by searching 11 electronic databases. In addition, studies were sought using on-line library catalogues, literature reviews, lists of references, and published bibliographies. Leading researchers in the field were also contacted when there was a particular need to do so.

Data collection and analysis

The narrative review was based on 19 studies (covering 43 evaluations) and the meta-analysis was based on 12 studies (covering 18 evaluations). The data used included police-recorded crimes and self-reported victimizations.

Main findings

The main finding of the narrative review was that the majority of the schemes evaluated indicated that neighborhood watch was effective in reducing crime. The main finding of the meta-analysis was that the weighted mean odds ratio for all studies combined was 1.19 using the fixed effects method and 1.36 using the random effects method. The results of both methods show that neighborhood watch was associated with a reduction in crime of between 16 per cent and 26 per cent.

Reviewers' conclusions

This review concludes that neighborhood watch is associated with a reduction in crime.

See the full review

Contact us