During the last decade, the phenomenon of citizen watches has become a common and meaningful element in citizen participation that aims to improve local public safety. This paper discusses citizen watches as a manifestation of the way citizens and state agencies are redefining and transforming their relationships. It examines the question of the extent to which citizen watches can be seen as examples of good citizenship. The Dutch government is currently appealing strongly for more citizen involvement in public matters, but is unclear about the kind of involvement it expects. The paper argues that citizen watches are mainly considered manifestations of 'good citizenship' by the government if they are set up in line with state objectives and are willing to serve as an auxiliary of the formal authorities in the neighborhood. Many citizen watches are therefore products of self-responsibilization processes, which have not yet received much academic attention. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.