A Neighbourhood Watch scheme is proven to reduce crimes such as burglaries, vandalism, cons & scams, and car crime. So, if there is no scheme in your road, why not volunteer to be a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator and help to protect your home and community? It might take just a couple of hours per month, but it could make a real difference to you and your neighbours. Lots of information and support are available to Co-ordinators.
Firstly, visit your neighbours to see if they would like to see such a scheme. There can be any number of households involved, schemes are generally run for about 15 – 20 houses in the same road, but sometimes more with the help of additional Co-ordinators.
Then contact Wycombe District Neighbourhood Watch Association to arrange an informal start-up meeting with all interested households to talk through the benefits and responsibilities. There is of course an application form to fill in and you should be a suitable person to represent your community, but, once that is done, you are ready to start.
The responsibilities of a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator are to share information and to liaise with the neighbourhood policing teams and residents in order to improve community safety. Basically, this means:
Distribute (usually by email) the Thames Valley Alert messages – these email bulletins from the police report on crimes, crime threats, forewarn of known scams, and they are an invaluable way of keeping abreast of issues.
Take delivery of and put up Neighbourhood watch signs in the street – these are great deterrents to opportunist thieves!
Advise households on simple security measures such as shed locks, alarms, property markings, how to deal with car crime, bogus callers, and rogue traders – Neighbourhood Watch has lots of information on all of this.
Encourage neighbours to report any suspicious activity to the police, either by calling 999 if a crime is taking place, or 101 for non-emergency calls.
Discuss any specific concerns you and your neighbours may have, such as anti-social behaviour or a spate of crimes, with the neighbourhood policing teams.
Keep up-to-date records of members and encourage new members to join. Make sure you keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours and ensure they are advised of all relevant information.
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