Running a scheme
Running a Neighbourhood Watch scheme is a great opportunity to make a real difference in your area – and whether you're a new or existing coordinator, this page can help you make the most of it.
Aims and objectives
There are four steps to working out your group’s agenda.
- Identify problems. Figure out what the problems are in your area, ideally by speaking to local people.
- Decide what you can do. Choose actions specific to the problems you identify. The section on safety advice and our case studies may provide inspiration.
- How can you make it happen? Identify needs: money, time, meeting places, stationery, printers etc. Make sure members can commit.
- Do your actions help? Adapt as you go. The group should write down and share thoughts on how well things are working.
Write up objectives in a simple statement. This can be useful for publicity.
Resources for coordinators
You’ll find lots of materials in the resource centre to help you run your scheme.
In the members area there are easy-to-use templates for newsletters, letters for inviting and welcoming new members and a great range of posters to help spread the word about your group. Whatever you need to publicise, from property marking events and park clean up to community meetings and more, there's a design to fit the bill. Just add any information you think is important, choose the text colour, then print as many copies as you like. It couldn’t be simpler.
For getting started and working with members you'll find advice and guidance in our toolkits; for inspiration from other groups around the country explore our case studies. You can do this by region, theme, or problem type.
You should also consider registering your scheme with this site so potential new members can find you easily.
Relaunching a scheme
Relaunches of inactive schemes should be carefully structured. Blame achieves little. Instead, reconsider your processes and then, when the scheme is revamped, publicise it. Then review the new scheme regularly, perhaps every three months.
Example: Chippenham and Rural Villages Neighbourhood Watch
Neighbourhood Watch has been in Chippenham for 20 years. In 2007, a new Community Area Coordinator realised many groups were dormant and went through the police Neighbourhood Watch database, establishing which groups were active and still had coordinators, recruiting new ones where necessary.
Associations are usually made up of large local schemes covering districts, towns etc. Coordinators form a steering committee, often with police, then agree objectives.
Example: Devon & Cornwall Community Watch Association (DaCCWA)
Established in 1998, with local authority boundaries and 16 district groups, this association consists of four levels: the Strategic Board, the Basic Command Unit NHW Committee, District NHW Forums and Local Beat Area NHW groups.
Find out more
There's lots more information to help scheme coordinators in our toolkits.