Home Office Crime prevention advice
Valuable crime prevention advice and Neighbourhood Watch information from the Home Office.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What is Neighbourhood Watch? Neighbourhood Watch (in some areas known as Home Watch), is one of the biggest and most successful crime prevention schemes ever. At its most basic level, it is a scheme where a group of neighbours get together and with the police and other agencies to reduce local crime and disorder (and perceptions of crime) in the bid to make your neighbourhood a safe and better place to live, work and play. It's also about building community spirit and good relations.
- Am I in a Neighbourhood Watch scheme? To find out if you belong to a scheme, contact a Crime Prevention Officer at your local police station who will be able to tell you if there is a scheme in your area or help you set up one of your own.
- How do I start a scheme? If you are serious about setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your area, contact a Crime Prevention Officer at your local police station to discuss your plan. You should also speak to your neighbours and find out if they are interested in forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Your local police can advise you on how to set a scheme up. Remember that the success of a scheme is largely based on the support from your neighbours.
- What will I have to do? Discuss your plan with your local police and your neighbours. Your neighbours must agree to participate and support the scheme. A scheme can be large, covering a whole housing estate or it can be small with half a dozen houses on the same street. Then, you and your neighbours need to appoint a co-ordinator (or co-ordinators) whose job is to get scheme members working together. Co-ordinators and members meet regularly to talk about crime and disorder problems in the neighbourhood and how to best tackle them. Co-ordinators also keep in close contact with the local police to share information and to seek advice.
- What is the role of the police? Watch schemes are not police-run groups. It is important to build a close working partnership with your local police such as the Safer Neighbourhood Team or the Neighbourhood Policing Team, and share with them all information relating to crime and other incidents in your area. Many police stations have a Crime Prevention Officer who works as a contact point for co-ordinators. The police can provide information on the latest crime figures, operational support as well as crime prevention advice, whereas Watch members can provide valuable information and knowledge about the neighbourhood. Together, you have a powerful tool to tackle crime.
- What is the role of the Home Office? The Home Office recognises the important role of Neighbourhood Watch in crime reduction, and supports it in many ways including developing policy relating to its promotion, growth and support; providing practical support such as maintaining the website, managing the logos, producing good practice guidance, supplying free publications and training package and providing Public Liability Insurance cover for every Neighbourhood Watch group and association throughout England and Wales. See 'Neighbourhood Watch Purpose Statement' for further details.
- How will the scheme be funded? As voluntary groups, schemes need to decide how they will pay for the costs incurred through undertaking activities, such as producing newsletters, running a website or hiring meeting rooms. Funding for crime reduction is held at a local level. The aim is to empower local communities to make their own contributions to reducing crime and disorder and is a central part of the Government’s strategy. Funding may be obtained from the police, local authorities, Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRP), Local Strategic Partnerships (LSP) or through membership fees or sponsorship. Some schemes charge their members a nominal monthly fee.
- Can I use the logo? The yellow circular Neighbourhood Watch with 'four individuals' and the red triangle Home Watch logos are Crown Copyright and trademarked by the Home Office. They can be used by genuine Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch groups (or third parties acting on their behalf) for educational and other purposes, such as on newsletters and websites. Prior to using the logos, a licence must be obtained. The purpose of the licence is to preserve the reputation and integrity of the logos so as to ensure that they remain available for use by bona fide Neighbourhood & Home Watch groups, and to protect from inappropriate commercial exploitation such as to promote or endorse commercial products and services. See 'Neighbourhood & Home Watch Logos' for further details.
- Can I create my own logo? You can create your own logo. However you cannot make any changes to the 'official' yellow circular Neighbourhood Watch and the red triangle Home Watch logos are Crown Copyright and trademarked by the Home Office. You should also consider the impact an unfamiliar logo might have. The 'official' Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch logos are well recognised and act as a deterrent to would-be criminals. An unfamiliar logo might not have the same deterrent effect.
- How do I get 'public liability insurance'? Public Liability Insurance or PLI free cover is available for Neighbourhood Watch schemes and associations in England and Wales. It is managed by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) working in conjunction with Charities & Social Enterprise Insurance Management (CaSE). See 'Public Liability Insurance' for further details.
- What do acronyms NHWN, NPSGWI and NSGWI stand for? NHWN stands for the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (formerly known as United Strategy Group for Watch Issues). NPSGWI (National Police Steering Group for Watch Issues) and NSGWI (National Strategy Group for Watch Issues).
- Is there a national body representing Neighbourhood Watch? Yes, the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Netwoek. In 2007 the Home Office the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and Neighbourhood & Home Watch from across England & Wales volunteers developed a new structure to represent NHW regionally and nationally. Schemes all around the country are represented by their local associations on a district or borough level. There are also ten Regional Groups; each group has members who are volunteers and police practitioners. Elected police representatives from these regional groups attend the NPSGWI, while elected volunteer representatives attend the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network meetings quarterly. The NSGWI meets four times per year.
- How do I order Neighbourhood & Home Watch leaflets and stickers? You can order Home Office NHW publicity materials from Prolog by telephone 0870 241 4680, by fax 0870 241 4786 or e-mail email@example.com. The complete range of Home Office crime reduction publicity materials are outlined in the Crime Reduction Publicity Catalogue.( insert link : http://www.crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/publicity_catalogue/) The materials, which include leaflets, posters and stickers are user-friendly and can be used in both national campaigns and local initiatives. Please only order items that you have definite plans to use. They are free of charge, but there are limits to the number of items that can be ordered. If you have any queries, please call the Home Office Marketing Team on 020 7035 3926.
- Where can I get Neighbourhood Watch street signs? Generally, street signs can be obtained from your local police. However, in some areas they are provided by the local authority, and in other areas the local schemes must purchase street signs themselves. You should contact a Crime Prevention Officer from your local police station as a first step to find out who provides Neighbourhood Watch street signs in your area.
- As a NHW member and co-ordinator, what training do I need? As an ordinary NHW member, you will not need any formal training, although it will be worth learning as much as possible about Neighbourhood & Home Watch from this website. NHW co-ordinators, Watch Liaison Officers, Crime Prevention Officers and local authority staff working in community safety may require training. A new training package has been delevoped and is available on this website (insert link to training Kits).
- How many Neighbourhood Watch schemes are there in the UK? There are 133,195 schemes, covering over 7 and a half million households registered (Source: Ansvar Insurers), based on the number of schemes registered for PLI in April 2009. The number of schemes registered for the Public Liability Insurance (PLI) is a good indicator of the number of schemes in the UK. However, it is not known how many schemes exist that are not registered for the PLI.
- What is the history of Neighbourhood Watch? Neighbourhood Watch first came to the UK from America during the 1980s. It started in a Cheshire village called Mollington in 1982 and spread quickly throughout the UK. It is sometimes known as Home Watch. In 2007 Neighbourhood Watch celebrated its 25th anniversary in the UK.
- Are there any other Watch schemes? Yes, there are many Watch schemes based on the original Neighbourhood Watch. For examples, Church Watch, Horse Watch, Business Watch, Pub Watch, Farm Watch, School Watch, Boat Watch and many more.
- What is 'Cocoon Watch'? Cocoon Watch is a mini neighbourhood watch where after a burglary, immediate neighbours are asked to keep an eye on the burgled home for a few weeks and to report anything or anyone suspicious to the police.