Could you make a difference in your local community?
Neighbourhood Watch is the largest voluntary organisation in the UK with around six million members. It encourages neighbours to look out for each other and helps residents and the police to guard against crime, vandalism and many other problems in the local community.
Through Neighbourhood Watch people across Merseyside can join local schemes which work together to protect their community and report suspicious people and incidents to the police. There are more than 2,000 schemes in the region.
Jane Kennedy said: “The Neighbourhood Watch is a partnership which helps the police to communicate more effectively with the communities it serves to both detect and prevent crime and make those areas an even better place to live.
“It also gives people the opportunity to play a more active role in guarding against crime in their own neighbourhoods, increasing public reassurance, reducing the fear of crime and fostering community spirit. On top of that, some companies even offer a reduction in the cost of their home insurance for members.
“Neighbourhood Watch is keen to increase its membership in Merseyside and I am committed to supporting their recruitment drive. I want the Neighbourhood Watch movement to flourish in our region, providing greater engagement between communities and the police and strengthen the fight against crime.”
How does it work?
Merseyside Police supports each Neighbourhood Watch scheme, actively engaging with leaders and committees. Each scheme has a nominated police point of contact, who has responsibility for sharing information and crime prevention advice.
The police service also support those wishing to set up a new scheme, providing regular structured help and guidance to help them become established and provide a specific corporate point of contact for advice and support.
Merseyside’s Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator Jeff Judge said: “Neighbourhood Watch schemes can help build stronger communities and provide reassurance to local residents, particularly those with vulnerabilities or have been victims of crime.
“There are other benefits from living in a Neighbourhood Watch area, such as reduced home insurance and the opportunity to meet new people in your area. Neighbourhood Watch is a growing movement and I would encourage anyone interesting in becoming involved to get in touch.”
Why should I join?
Statistics show that belonging to Neighbourhood Watch scheme significantly reduces the possibility of becoming a victim of crime. Empowering and encouraging people to be prompt in reporting suspicious activity will help reduce vulnerability, decrease the opportunities for crime and demonstrate to potential criminals that they are in a security conscious area.
All members will have the opportunity to attend local neighbourhood and area meetings to discuss local issues with neighbourhood police officers and other Neighbourhood Watch members. This allows for both members and the police to express their concerns and exchange information freely. These meetings will also provide access to up to date crime prevention information to protect you and your family and your community.
Neighbourhood Watch schemes bring community spirit back into neighbourhoods by creating and maintaining a caring community. It gives people the opportunity to get to know and help each other and helps provide a strong voice when action is necessary to solve a local problem.
What is involved in becoming a Neighbourhood Watch member?
Scheme activities vary greatly and the level of activity is decided by the members. At a basic level, membership involves the following responsibilities:
- Identify and report any suspicious activity to your Neighbourhood Watch scheme leader
- Support your scheme leader in promoting crime and disorder and anti-social behaviour prevention initiatives
- Review your own home security by taking simple precautions to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime and strengthen the scheme in working together
- Being alert and aware of what happens in your community,
In more active schemes, members can chose to do much more than this. Some members may choose to organise awareness campaigns and practical crime reduction projects. This might involve action to marking property to make it less attractive to criminals, cooperating with neighbours to keep an eye on empty homes and creating a community in which young people are diverted away from crime. Most schemes have regular meetings and some produce newsletters to keep members informed and involved.
How do I join?
If you are interested in finding out more about Neighbourhood Watch, please contact your local Citizens in Policing Coordinator by emailing Citizens.email@example.com or by phoning (0151) 777 4182.
You can also find out more about the scheme on the Merseyside Police website here.