What is a Neighbourhood Watch?
A Neighbourhood Watch group is a partnership where people come together to make their communities safer by working with the local Police, Council and other organisations. The UK first Neighbourhood Watch was set up in Cheshire in 1982 following the success of a similar American scheme in Chicago. It is believed that there are now over 10 million people claiming to be members. It is important to recognise that that these schemes are community initiatives, supported by the police but not run by them, so the success depends on the efforts of the members of the group. The police can’t deal with the problems and issues arising from crime and anti-social behaviour alone; they need the help of the whole community. Neighbourhood Watch provides a way for local people to play an important part in addressing this balance and making their communities safer.
What are the aims of a Neighbourhood Watch?
- To prevent crime by improving security, increasing vigilance, creating and maintaining a caring community and reducing opportunities for crime by increasing crime prevention awareness
- To assist the local Neighbourhood Policing Team in detecting crime by promoting effective communication and the prompt reporting of suspicious and criminal activity.
- To reduce undue fear of crime by providing accurate information about risks and by promoting a sense of security and community spirit, particularly amongst the more vulnerable members of the community.
- To improve police community liaison by providing effective communications which warn groups of local crime trends and conversely enabling groups to inform the police of incidents when they occur.
What are some of the benefits of being a Neighbourhood Watch group?
- Designated Police Support.
- Routes for setting monthly priorities for dealing with crime, parking, street lighting, fly tipping, health issues, road safety, dog fouling.
- Lower premiums for home insurance.
- A means of working together to prevent crime.
- Building a stronger sense of community.
- Closer working links with agencies and partners.
- Obtaining funding for working together on street parties, sports or play areas, creating a better or more beautiful environment.
- Becoming a registered No Cold Calling Zone area and the protection from Trading Standards this affords everyone.
- Working together to support vulnerable or elderly neighbours during cold spells /snows etc.
- Friendship, trust and looking out for each other.
How do I get in touch with the one nearest me or get advice and help on how to set one up myself?
Please contact Marcus Czarnecki, the Restorative Practices Champion on 324976 or by e-mail Marcus@vanel.org.uk for more details.
Groups have the benefit of being supported by an umbrella organisation of very experienced local Neighbourhood Watch coordinators, and quarterly meetings where information and examples of good practice are shared