Neighbourhood Watch

What is Neighbourhood Watch?

The purpose of Neighbourhood Watch is to unite neighbourhoods in an effort to prevent crime, by protecting and enhancing their environment and generally looking out for each other's properties. Working in partnership with the local Neighbourhood Policing Teams gives Neighbourhood Watches a way of dealing with many issues affecting their communities, such as anti-social behaviour, burglary and vehicle crime.

It is recognised that Neighbourhood Watch schemes play a vital role in preventing crime and improving a community and through our local Neighbourhood Watch Administrators and Neighbourhood Policing Teams, we work closely with residents and local organisations to support and increase membership across the force area.

There is a dedicated Watch messaging system, Ringmaster, operated by dedicated local Neighbourhood Watch Administrators, as well as an HQ-based Development Officer. Ringmaster allows us to relay important information to watches efficiently, increasing the opportunity for greater awareness and quality intelligence.

There are approximately 5,000 Neighbourhood Watch schemes covering some thirty percent of households. Nationally there are approximately 155,000 schemes covering up to six million households.

Reasons for joining/starting a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

Neighbourhood Watch is one of the biggest and most successful crime prevention initiatives ever and the largest voluntary organisation in the country.

Statistics show that:

  • you are four times less likely to be burgled if you are a member of a Watch scheme
  • Neighbourhood Watch brings communities together to tackle problems such as burglary, vandalism, anti-social behaviour and vehicle crime.
  • Neighbourhood Watch is a great way to rekindle community spirit.
  • Neighbourhood Watch encourages a sense of security amongst you and your neighbours and knowing that you are keeping an eye on each other's property gives reassurance, particularly for those who feel vulnerable.
  • Local Neighbourhood Policing Teams work closely with Neighbourhood Watches to ensure that up to date crime prevention advice and initiatives are made available to keep your home safe.
  • You may qualify for a discount on your home insurance premiums if you are a member of a registered scheme.

Whats involved and how do I join?

As the Coordinator of  Neighbourhood Watch, what will I need to do?

  • Contact your local NHW Administrator who can help you contact individual households to arrange a meeting to discuss setting up a scheme.
  • Set up and maintain a Neighbourhood Watch within the agreed area.
  • Pass information to members, from the police, on crime in the area.
  • Encourage members to inform police and Crimestoppers quickly of any criminal/suspicious incidents.
  • Act as a link between the scheme, other coordinators, local police, local NHW Associations and local authority.
  • Circulate any newsletters, leaflets, property marking kits etc.

As a Neighbourhood Watch member, what will I be expected to do?

  • Be alert and respond to what is going on in your neighbourhood, you will not be expected to patrol the streets, being vigilant doesn't mean you have to be a vigilante!
  • If you have the time, you could help prepare newsletters or help organise meetings and events
  • You can take simple steps to avoid attracting criminals. For example, giving an elderly person who lives alone some help, pushing mail through a letterbox, removing milk bottles left on a doorstep, which might indicate that no-one is home.
  • Look after your neighbours house when they are away.

To contact your Neighbourhood Watch Administrator phone 101 or visit the Avon and Somerset Police website for contact details for your area.