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.
We work closely with our local police who message us through our coordinators with regard to crimes occurring and as to any concerns or needs that they may have. We in turn try to be observant and to feed back to them information that they need in order to keep our communities safe. This two way dialogue is essential to our success.
Setting up and Running a NHW Group Scheme.
If you think you might be interested in joining NHW, click on “CONTACT US” on the Main Menu. When you contact us we’ll get your NHW Area Coordinator to discuss with you whether there is a NHW group already near you which you could join or whether you might like to set your own group in your own immediate neighbourhood. You can also do this yourself. To confirm whether you have any NHW Schemes registered near you, go to our Home Page – To Find Your Local NHW Scheme : Click Here and then Enter Your Post Code . By inserting your postcode you will see a list of schemes in your area. Our county policy is to network with schemes that are both police and NHW approved. These are shown with a black/yellow dot. With this knowledge you can then talk to your neighbours to gauge interest (just one or two may be appropriate to start with) and then discuss this further with your NHW Area Coordinator.
When you are happy to proceed we’ll provide any advice and information you will need to get you started. Whether you attract interest from a lot of households or only a few, you should be able to set up an effective group. Neighbourhood Watch groups often start small and then grow as local residents see what they’re about and want to get involved. All it takes is for a few energetic people to set the ball rolling.
Launching a new NHW Group Scheme is in fact exceptionally easy. Firstly you obviously need to talk with your neighbours :
- Point out the usefulness and advantages of joining NHW, it is free and helps to prevent and to solve crime and may earn them a reduction in their household insurance premiums, as if they are part of a NHW Scheme they are less likely to be subject to crime. You can then obtain their agreement to form a group to support each other. We can supply you with access to “fliers” and pamphlets to assist in this dialogue.
- Establish a list of names, addresses, tel nos, and email addresses (if applicable) to form your group. Most NHW communications are by email, all are blind copied (Bcc) to protect personal data.
- You then contact your Area Coordinator advising that you are ready to set up a group scheme. He/she will then assist you to get your scheme registered on the police Neighbourhood Alert database (See registration process below). All Cambs NHW coordinators have to be verified as accepted both by the police and by their local Area Coordinator before they can receive police Neighbourhood Alert messaging.
- Later you may wish to hold a meeting in order to get to know one another but this is not essential as most members communicate by email. We can supply you with various guidance on NHW recommended straightforward ‘Do’s and Don’ts on Distraction Burglary, Rogue Traders and Scams etc and of course access to NHW Membership window stickers which inform persons in the area that there is NHW Scheme. This is reinforced by street signs which we can provide. These can be located on a lamp-post near your Group (they are not essential but can be purchased (two versions) for £12 and £14 each – possibly more than recouped every year on a single resident’s discount on their property insurance premium for being a Member of a formal NHW street scheme).
- Neighbourhood Policing Panels, chaired by the police and / or County officials every 4 months, are the public’s opportunity to meet with and speak to local police officers and are where local policing priorities are set. We encourage NHW coordinators to try and attend if they can.
- The most useful service you can offer your neighbours is to ensure they are entirely clear on “How to Call for Police Assistance” in different situations, both Emergency and Non-Emergency. Having to hand an easy reference to the standard phone nos. on which to call the police for assistance is invaluable to each household. A useful vehicle is to publish these perhaps in a regular village / parish Newsletter.
Want to know more? Then ask for contact with your NHW Area Coordinator by clicking on “Contact Us” (on Main Menu on this web-site).
The Registration of new Coordinators is carried out by your Area Neighbourhood Alert Administrator. To assist him /her to get you registered please download and complete the Registration Form for your scheme and pass to your Area Neighbourhood Alert Administrator Click Here NHW Registration Form – Apr 2012 v 4a
Why not get started now? Click on Contact Us and we’ll get you in touch with your Area Coordinator to famil with your first steps to get going.
Want to know more ?
Click Here for the NHW Coordinators’ Handbook.
Click Here for more useful info for the NHW Coordinator
Click Here for advice on “How to Stay Safe”
SETTING UP A VILLAGE OR NEIGHBOURHOOD GROUP OF NHW SCHEMES Experience is showing that the most effective method of crime prevention is where a group of schemes join together in order to establish a whole community that seeks to prevent crime. The Coordinators work together to share data; encourage participation; develop engagement channels; to liaise as a whole with the police.
It is easy to set up a village group, even if you are starting on your own. We advise that you make contact with your Parish or Town council or similar community group to gain their interest and support. You can then work with their local knowledge to identify persons who are already involved in the community and those deemed suitable for Coordinator roles. They can then be approached. The Group then grows. In order to kick start development it is good to hold a neighbourhood meeting if you can. At the head of any such Group/ Village Scheme is a Village or Group Coordinator. They initially drive the project forward and then keep a watching brief once it is established.
Village/ Group Coordinators’ Role
They can act, if necessary, as a Principal Point of Contact for the police and they take an overall view as to crime, anticipation of and prevention of crime over a wider area, collate local issues and attend Neighbourhood Panel Meetings when possible, promote NHW by way of publicity, Parish Council and police liaison. They endeavour to raise awareness of crime prevention measures.
Within their community they seek to recruit new Coordinators, encourage and advise existing Coordinators, maintain an effective database of Coordinator and agency contact details, signpost Coordinators and members, when applicable, to appropriate agencies.
This is an interesting and stimulating role and much satisfaction can be gained from seeing a community working together. It has been proved that this does keep crime down.
Why not get started right away ?