Neighbourhood Watch is a partnership involving the Police and local people working together to make their communities safer. Neighbourhood Watch encourages crime prevention and aims to help people protect their property, as well as themselves. Information is shared in regard to improving home security, encouraging greater vigilance, and accurate reporting of suspicious incidents to the police. Neighbourhood Watch schemes can also help build community spirit.
Aims of Neighbourhood Watch
- To encourage neighbourliness and closer communities
- Encourage residents to look after each others’ homes when they are out or away - even to the extent of taking in milk, pushing mail and papers through letter boxes, and opening and drawing curtains
- To persuade the public to take security precautions and mark property
- Help residents feel more secure in their own homes, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, by reducing the fear of crime by knowing that neighbours and friends are nearby observing any suspicious activity
- To build a two way communication with the Police
- To encourage residents to report suspicious incidents and crime to the police on Northamptonshire Police's non-emergency phone line 101. Alternatively, a non-emergency report can be submitted online via this form
- If a crime is in progress, always call 999
Insurance companies may give a discount on household contents premiums to acknowledge the fact that people involved with Neighbourhood Watch schemes are lower ‘risk’. This is backed up by a leading insurance company (Coop Insurance) stating (in 2016) that there are "40 per cent fewer incidents of theft in Neighbourhood Watch areas".
How to join or set up a scheme
Firstly, visit www.northamptonshireneighbourhoodwatch.co.uk You can enter your postcode on the homepage and it will indicate the Neighbourhood Watch scheme(s) nearest to that postcode. You can click on the nearest scheme and register to join.
If you wish to set up a new scheme, assuming there is not an active scheme near you, follow the prompts to do so. Alternatively, you can email your district Neighbourhood Watch contact, as listed on the above website. They will guide you through the process and help you canvas your community/neighbourhood to build membership. A scheme can have as low as 5 or 10 members up to more than 500 and it can cover a single street or housing estate up to a whole village or small town.
In addition to reporting incidents to the police, it is imperative members communicate with each other, often meeting a few times a year. Central to the process of communication are the Neighbourhood Alert messages. These are written by the local police as well as other authorised agencies including Trading Standards, Fraud Alert, Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service and Neighbourhood Watch. Coordinators and members registered on the service receive these alerts instantly, but also co-ordinators can cascade them on via email and social media to scheme members and the wider community.
Contact Neighbourhood Watch
Visit www.northamptonshireneighbourhoodwatch.co.uk for contact details.