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Neighbourhood Watch & Home Watch is described by Wikipedia as a partnership where people come together to make their communities safer. It involves the Police, Community Safety departments of local authorities, other voluntary organisations and, above all, individuals and families who want to make their neighbourhoods better places to live. It aims to help people protect themselves and their properties and to reduce the fear of crime by means of improved home security, greater vigilance, accurate reporting of suspicious incidents to the police and by fostering a community spirit.
Having been directly involved in supporting Neighbourhood Watch during my time in the police service I would like to think that I'm one of its biggest fans. With the ever-present tight budgets these days the police need as much support as they can muster and Neighbourhood Watch is one very important and practical way that we can all help. It is a fact that most property crime can be prevented and I see the Neighbourhood Watch movement in particular as being a key player in the promotion of the crime prevention message.
The movement relies on volunteers who are willing to give up a couple hours of their time each month to perhaps attend a meeting, man a stall or maybe deliver a few leaflets, but above all it's about keeping an eye out for their neighbours and reporting suspicious incidents to the police. There's lots of support available (see below) and it's very easy to see that with just a little instruction volunteers can and do become an intrinsic part of community policing. I think that the Neighbourhood Watch movement could be even more active in promoting crime prevention solutions and I'd like to think that the many Neighbourhood Watch websites that link to this site are actively using my content to this end. But I also think that Neighbourhood Watch should very much remain a local movement dealing with local problems as they see them and not be dictated to from on high. Something seen as a problem in Cheltenham may not be seen in the same way in East Ham or Sunderland. It's all about local problems, local people and local solutions.
Please read on for advice about starting a Watch and Good Luck!
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