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.
- 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.
- 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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