Setting Up a Neighbourhood Watch
We all know crime is a problem in every community. All too often people wonder just what they can do about it. But setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme can reduce the instances of many crimes in your community. The biggest hurdle is bringing together enough volunteers to make it work.
Setting up a WatchThe linchpin of any Watch is the Co-ordinator. It’s a volunteer position but he or she is the person who works with watch volunteers and liaises with police and other organizations.But the heart and soul are the volunteers themselves. For a community you need enough concerned citizens to be able to keep a watch and to distribute crime prevention literature to their neighbours. Put all that together, which isn’t easy, and it takes time to acquire a pool of volunteers, then bingo! – you have a Neighbourhood Watch.
It’s a regular commitment of time and energy, but no more than any other volunteer work, as it really does make a difference in your own community. Above all, it’s something that comes from the community itself, a willingness to do something positive, rather than any directive from above.
Anyone interested in setting up a scheme can easily find out more from www.neighbourhoodwatch.uk.com. They have training packages and literature available for potential Watch co-ordinators and members. From there you’ll need to contact your local Police Community Liaison Officer.
Letting People Know a Watch is in OperationOnce you’ve begun your watch, how do you tell people in the area about it, and how do you let criminals know it’s in effect?
The first part is quite easy. A simple, short newsletter can be distributed to everyone in the community, telling them about it and giving the Co-ordinator’s phone number, so they can contact him and maybe even volunteer.
The distinctive Neighbourhood Watch logo can be a crime deterrent in itself. It lets criminals know people are on the lookout. Your Watch can obtain a licence to use it by applying to the Home Office. Once you have it, display the logo proudly everywhere the Watch covers.Insurance
One thing every Watch needs is public liability insurance. It’s a sad but necessary fact in this world. You might never use, but it’s vital to have.
Luckily, you can obtain it free of charge, supplied by ANSVAR Insurance. All you need to do is be an official Watch (which means working with your local police) and follow the registration procedure and you’re covered. Renewal is every January 12, but you need to tell them if your Watch changes its Co-ordinator or Administrator.