The Police can’t deal with the problems and issues arising from crime and anti-social behaviour alone; they need the help of the whole community. Neighbourhood Watch provides a way for local people to play an important part in addressing this balance and making their communities safer.
Neighbourhood Watch schemes are run by members of the community and are supported by the Police. The Neighbourhood Watch movement in the UK covers six million households and there are approximately 170,000 Neighbourhood Watch schemes.
Schemes can vary in size. They range from the smallest schemes covering a dozen or so homes in a single street to county-wide associations with many thousands of members.
A local resident volunteers to be the co-ordinator and supervises the scheme. They liaise with the police, to keep them, and members of the scheme, up to date with local activities.
The Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator
The role of a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator is to set up and/or maintain a Neighbourhood Watch scheme within a specific neighbourhood. If you are a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, you will usually be required to take on the following duties.
- Encourage vigilance amongst scheme members and actively encourage the early reporting of suspicious incidents to the police.
- Receive crime information from the Neighbourhood Watch Ringmaster messaging system and distribute these messages to scheme members.
- Encourage scheme members to be aware of and put into practice crime prevention measures, such as property marking and security devices.
- Keep a check on vulnerable households and provide advice to members about dealing with callers at the door.
- Circulate newsletters and other relevant information to scheme members.
- Welcome newcomers to the neighbourhood and invite them to be part of the scheme.
- Supply each scheme member with Neighbourhood Watch and crime prevention literature, such as Neighbourhood Watch window stickers and incident report cards.
If you are interested in becoming a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator or would like to find out more about schemes in your area, call Northumbria Police on 101 or visit the Northumbria Police Your Neighbourhood to contact a member of your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.
There is Neighbourhood Watch training advice, which can be used by new or existing schemes. The training covers administering a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and security in your community. For more information on training, see the Neighbourhood and Home Watch website.
Other useful information
- Information NOW section on Problems with your Neighbours
- Fearless.org provides non-judgemental information and advice about crime. You can send information about a crime anonymously using their website. It educates and empowers young people about crime, allowing them to feel Fearless when speaking up against crime.
Last updated: June 10, 2021