What is Neighbourhood Watch?
Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) is based on the idea that communities can work together to help prevent crime. Residents, working in partnership with the police and council, are able to take an active part in building community spirit and increasing neighbourliness.
Our purpose is to use the collective sense of people living in a neighbourhood to recognise that simple steps can be taken to reduce the opportunities for crime and, where appropriate, help the police by providing information to detain perpetrators of crime.
How does NHW work?
At the heart of a NHW scheme is the street coordinator. Most neighbourhood watches are based on a single street and the co-ordinator is the central point of contact. The role is mainly to provide information, from arranging for crime prevention advice to alerting residents to incidents or crime trends in their area that the police have detected.
It goes without saying that the more residents who become involved the more effective a NHW can become. There is no cost for joining and the benefits are there to be seen, particularly in the reduction of crime.
What can I do?
With over 200 NHW streets now active in the borough it is possible that a scheme already exists in your street. Check your street here.
If you would like to join an existing scheme or are thinking of starting a new one then the next step is to contact your Local Policing Team (LPT) who work closely with residents in each of the borough’s 16 wards. Local Policing Team details can be found here.
Over the past two years the H&F NHW Borough Association has been seeking to build better communications with and between co-ordinators. As a body our strength comes from sharing best practice and information. We have a simple aim – to provide the most effective support and network to co-ordinators and residents.
NHW in action
Here are just a few examples of where NHW schemes have been successful in helping the police to reduce crime.
- Several burglars, including the borough’s one time ‘most wanted’ arrested thanks to the actions of astute NHW members.
- A graffiti ‘artist’ caught by a member on camera. The picture identified the offender and his tag, linking him to thousands of pounds worth of damage across the borough.
- Local intelligence has helped close several ‘crack houses’ removing drug suppliers, their customers and associated crime from local streets.
- Residents have worked together to lobby for, and in some cases secure the closure of problem alleyways. Other cases continue.
- A scheme member spotted a persistent fly-tipper and took details, resulting in him being prosecuted and his lorry scrapped.
In addition to these specific successes, many members comment on how starting a scheme has improved community spirit and helped them to get to know their neighbours and address local problems.