Neighbourhood Watch schemes involve the police, Community Safety departments of local authorities, other voluntary organisations and individuals and families who want to make their neighbourhoods better places to live. It aims to help people protect themselves and their properties and to reduce the fear of crime by means of improved home security, greater vigilance, accurate reporting of suspicious incidents to the police and by fostering a community spirit.
Neighbourhood Watch is a valued voluntary grass-root movement with its strength in building strong communities, preventing crime and working to support community resilience and community spirit.
Everyone in the community has the responsibility for preventing crime. Neighbourhood Watch aims to foster a strong and positive working relationship with the police locally, regionally and nationally.
Residents and the police support each other helping to create an environment where opportunities for crime are reduced.
It is the individual members that make any scheme successful. Neighbourhood Watch is owned by its members and not by the police. A Coordinator who is able to pass on their enthusiasm to their members is more likely to have an active, successful scheme. It is important to recognise, however, that work should be shared between scheme members and this will also help members to feel that they have a role to play.
The aim of the Neighbourhood Watch Network is to: “bring neighbours together to create strong, friendly, active communities where crime and anti-social behaviour are less likely to happen”.
Neighbourhood Watch is about making sure that fewer people feel afraid, vulnerable or isolated in the place where they live.
The principal objectives of Neighbourhood Watch are to:
- reduce crime and the opportunities for crime in Tameside.
- help reassure those residents who live in fear of crime .
- encourage neighbourliness and a sense of community spirit .
- improve levels of communication between Police, Tameside council and residents.
- Park a car on the neighbours drive whilst they are on holiday.
- Always push letters and newspapers through your neighbours letterbox properly.
- Put rubbish in your neighbour’s bin if they are away and put it out for collection as usual.
- If milk is delivered then take it in and leave a note through the door to say that you have taken it.
- Tell a trusted neighbour when you are away, who the keyholder is, and an emergency contact number.
- Think about any houses that overlook yours, say at the rear, and think about introducing yourself.
- Be alert to any suspicious behaviour or activity. Any urgent matters should be reported to the police. Less urgent matters to the Coordinator.
- Write down the description of any person or vehicle, including registration number, which you think is unusual or suspicious only when safe to do so.
- Make sure you have adequate security measures for your home and garden.
- Keep a record of serial numbers for all valuable property, such as mobile phones, laptops, game stations etc.
- Take photos of particularly expensive items, such as jewellery.
- Mark property with a UV marker or similar.
- Take mutual responsibility for your neighbour’s property.
- Use light timers to make your property appear occupied.
- Keep your Neighbourhood Watch scheme active.https://www.gmp.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/
As a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, your role is to:
- Contact households in their chosen scheme area to invite and support them to become members.
- Act as a key point of contact to receive and cascade information between scheme members, other local coordinators and partners, where relevant.
- Manage scheme administration, ensuring scheme and membership information is registered in line with local policy and kept up-to-date.
- Signpost members with community safety issues to the most appropriate organisation.
- Encourage reporting of suspicious and/or criminal incidents to the police.
- Promote personal responsibility for community safety by encouraging members to improve home and personal security Promote neighbourliness by encouraging members to share crime reduction information and keep an eye on each other’s homes and possessions, giving special consideration to vulnerable neighbours 8. Support police and other agencies to identify local issues and solve problems where there are community concerns.A scheme must have a Coordinator to be recognised by the police.
As a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator or member, you are not expected to become a vigilante group, patrol the streets, or put yourself in any danger. You are not a replacement police service.Your members can contact you to inform you about incidents when appropriate but they should always contact the police in an emergency situation.You can get help and advice from your local Neighbourhood Police team. Your area contact or Local Association will help to set up a meeting with them if required.If you can no longer continue as the Coordinator, you must inform your area contact, Local Association and the police. You should encourage someone from within your scheme to take over if possible. If this is not possible, your scheme will no longer be officially registered and members may compromise their insurance if they received a discount because they belonged to a scheme.
Neighbourhood Watch members are required to be alert. They are the eyes and ears of the police. Members are asked to:
Support the Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator.
- Report suspicious and/or criminal incidents to the police.
- Take personal responsibility for community safety by taking steps to improve your home and personal security (and share safety and security information to your friends and family).
- Be a good neighbour (share crime reduction information and keep an eye on each other’s homes and possessions, giving special consideration to vulnerable neighbours).
- Support police and other agencies to identify local issues and solve problems where there are community concerns.
- Go out patrolling the streets.
- Be a vigilante group.
- Put yourself in any danger.
Further information on Neighbourhood Watch can be obtained from a number of sources
Neighbourhood Watch official website
You can also contact the Greater Manchester Neighbourhood Watch Association:
GMNWA Chair Andrew Taylor Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tameside Council Community Safety department Email – email@example.com