Why Bother With Neighbourhood Watch?
Last year Maulden sadly suffered an a few burglaries in the Xmas period. One year does not make a trend, but it is always a good time to raise our alertness and take basic security measures. It is also true that after one bad year the statistics tend to “regress to the mean”, and that in the quiet times afterwards people tend to forget to be vigilant.
What is happening
Since the village hall meeting in January, the local reaction has been superb.
A great deal of useful information shared with members of the village, and a large number of people volunteered to join in with a range of community safety related projects (Street Watch, Speed Watch, and general community safety). The growth in terms of members of local Neighbourhood Watch groups may not be so obvious, but it is real.
It is therefore quite likely, therefore, that the single biggest improvement to community safety that has occurred in the village this year is in the growth of Neighbourhood Watch.
In adding more active schemes to that list. The village has substantially increased the coverage of neighbourhood watch schemes, made it much more likely that anybody passing through the village with ill intent will realise that the community is alert to the risks and is prepared and secured, and we will have reduced a number of incidental nuisances.
We would, therefore, like you to consider joining or starting a local NHW Scheme for your road and immediate area.
How does Neighbourhood Watch work ?
Each NHW group is defined as a “Scheme” and can be formed by a small number of houses, a whole street or even an entire housing estate.
Each Scheme is organised by a Street (Scheme) Coordinator and an Area Coordinator provides support and assistance to all NHW Schemes in their designated district.
All NHW Schemes are voluntary community initiatives, which are supported by the Police, but are not run by them.
The effectiveness of each Scheme depends on the efforts and enthusiasm of its members and its activities reflect what the members are happy to do.
All Schemes require their members to remain alert to any criminal or suspicious activity going on in their neighbourhood and reporting it, without delay, to the Police. Additionally, NHW Schemes encourage households to take common sense crime prevention measures to secure their property.
Some Schemes hold regular meetings to keep their members up to date with issues that directly affect them, whilst other Schemes distribute newsletters or organise special events to raise security awareness.
As a guideline, the basic roles and responsibilities for members of a Scheme are shown here.
What Makes a Scheme a Success?
Enthusiasm and commitment from every member is extremely important. The more interest and activity members put into their Scheme, the more effective and successful it will be.
A successful NHW Scheme develops a safer community to live. It gives residents a personal influence on crime reduction and an improvement in the quality of life in their neighbourhood by making people feel safer in their own homes.
As a result, an overall fear of crime can be reduced and a corresponding increase in community well-being can be achieved.
NHW is proven to be effective at deterring and displacing criminal activity, and improves the rates of police clear up and property recovery.
How much effort is it?
Your commitment is nothing that you would not already do:
- Visibly secure your home & property with stickers and uV marker pens
- Deploy Smart Water markings on relevant high value items
- Care for the local environment around your homes
- Promptly report reasonable suspicions to the police on 101
- Promptly report actual criminal acts on 999
- Inform your local street coordinator of suspicious activity whether or not reported as above
- Go to 2 meetings per year (however informal) with your local group
There is very slightly more work for a street coordinator and a deputy to do, but most of it is a pleasure, and highly sociable. In all cases the street coordinator and deputy get excellent support from the village coordinator, and the Bedfordshire regional neighbourhood watch organisation.
In terms of effort to reward, Neighbourhood Watch really is a great deal of reward for very little effort.
What can you do to join?
I recommend it to you. Please contact the Regional Coordinator and they can set the process moving for you and your neighbours.