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"Neighborhood watch" and self-patrol programs may be working in some US cities, but not in all. The cities where they aren't having their hoped-for effectiveness tend to be fast-growing, and the large influx of new residents usually means that people don't know who their neighbors are -- at least right away.

Houston, particularly, is growing so fast that its police force cannot cope with all the people, says an assistant chief. The department claims it needs to doubl e in size in the next decade.m

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