What is Neighbourhood Watch ?
Cambridgeshire Neighbourhood Watch is about local people working together to create safer, attractive and friendly places to live, places where crime is less likely to happen and people are less likely to turn to anti-social behaviour.
It’s about you looking out for your neighbours and them looking out for you, crossing barriers of age, race and class for everyone’s good. It’s about making sure that no one need feel alone, scared or vulnerable in the place where they live. Neighbourhood Watch groups get involved in all kinds of activities. They might help organise home security equipment for the elderly, organise fun events for the young, or help improve the local environment with work like communal gardening. Groups often join forces not just with the police, but with many other organisations to make their neighbourhoods more secure and pleasant. Being part of a group also makes it much easier to get funding and support for the kinds of things your neighbourhood needs.
Local Solutions for Local Issues
There is no set Neighbourhood Watch programme because each group scheme is owned and run by its community. Every community has its own needs and Neighbourhood Watch groups are exceptionally well placed to meet them. After all, who knows what a community needs better than the people who live in it?
Neighbourhood Watch schemes can vary in size from a few houses to a large estate. They are generally led by a volunteer co-ordinator from the local area/community who takes on the role of linking the community to the police. By being more aware of local issues, sharing information and advice, local residents are able to develop closer links while reassuring and supporting vulnerable households.
How we work with the Police
Anyone can reach the police quickly and easily in an emergency by dialing 999. So why have Neighbourhood Watch to liaise with them? The simple answer is that it helps you and your neighbours give your local police a much clearer sense of your current and emergent needs and local issues. Neighbourhood Watch group members know their communities well and can develop an even deeper knowledge by talking to their neighbours and finding out what matters to them. Police and other organisations can then take action based on this knowledge.
The police do not run Neighbourhood Watch schemes, but are glad to get input and clear guidance on local needs from them. Watch members are active citizens who want to help their communities. The police need the support of active citizens to help prevent anti-social behaviour and, if it has occurred, to bring those responsible to account.
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Once you have joined you may be surprised at how much it changes life in your area. You’ll probably find yourself talking more to your neighbours and to local agencies and businesses. You’ll not only feel more connected to the life around you, but by showing others, especially the most vulnerable, that you’re looking out for them and that they’re not alone. You’ll discover that, together, your activities will strengthen your community, and that when the community is united, you’re not just safer, but happier and able to achieve much more. This is an interesting and stimulating role and the results have shown that this does keep crime down.
Why not get started now?