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How Neighbourhood Watch Works
Neighbourhood Watch is a means of developing and improving the liaison between the community, the Police, the Fire and Rescue services, Local Authorities and other organisations.
The aims of Neighbourhood Watch are to:
- Cut crime and the opportunities for crime, including anti-social behaviour
- Help people to protect themselves and their property
- Reassure local residents, and reduce the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour
- Reduce the incidence of fires
- Reduce environmental harm, such as fly -tipping and any pollution of water courses
- Improve the quality of life for local residents and tenants
- Encourage neighbourliness and community cohesion
Whatever the level of local crime rate it is important that the local community and the Police work together in partnership to prevent and detect crime and anti-social behaviour.
Neighbourhood Watch Schemes.
Individual schemes differ depending on the area. Most schemes are set up with the co-operation of the local Police in particular through Neighbourhood Policing Teams. Schemes are run locally to address local needs or problems and are supported by local Police Officers/PCSO’s and the other agencies involved in Neighbourhood Watch.
Each Neighbourhood Watch scheme is a community initiative supported (not run) by the Police, the Fire and Rescue services and Local Authorities. Neighbourhood Watch gives people the chance to get to know and help each other better, particularly the more vulnerable.
A scheme can be as big or as small as a Coordinator wishes. A maximum of about 25 residential properties is recommended.
Each scheme has a volunteer Coordinator who:
- Is a member of CNWA, with voting rights at its AGM
- Liaises with local Police Officers and Police Community Safety Officers (PCSO's) and Area Coordinators and disseminates information to members of their scheme.
- Supplies households with stickers for doors and windows.
- Circulates newsletters, leaflets and any equipment available like property marking kits and UV pens.
- Passes on relevant police information on crime in the area to individual households.
- Encourages members to inform the police quickly of suspicious and criminal incidents.
- Keeps in touch with other schemes in the area.
- Monitor the scheme’s activities and keeps a check on vulnerable households and newcomers.
- Welcomes newcomers to the neighbourhood and invites them to be part of the scheme.
- Identifies local environmental problems and reports these to the local authority.
Members of a scheme can take steps to prevent crime, improve safety and reduce the fear of crime. The more each member is involved the better a scheme can ensure that:
- Information can be passed to the Coordinator or Police.
- Police are informed of suspicious and criminal incidents on 999 or the non-emergency number 0845 3300 247
- a check can be kept on vulnerable households and newcomers.
- local environmental problems can be identified and reported to the Coordinator or directly to the local authority.
The success of each scheme depends on what the members make of it.
Neighbourhood Watch is recognised as having a real role to play in reducing crime and anti social behaviour.
Voice Connect is a communication system which enables us to pass police information on to all our volunteers. This information can be received in three ways:
- as a text,
- by e-mail
- as a recorded message.
Coordinators can specify how and at what times they wish to receive the messages and so can play an active role in looking after their community as part of a network which can easily and rapidly circulate vital information. This enables the Police and other services to respond to criminal activity and community issues in more effectively and efficiently, resulting in safer communities in which people live, work and visit.