Comms. Strategy Template
[Force area] Neighbourhood Watch Association is the recognised independent constituted committee which has overall directive for Neighbourhood Watch in the geographical area of the town of [town] and the other districts within the county of [county/force area]:[list districts].
The association works under general guidance (not governance) from the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (NHWN) nationally and alongside the [force area] Police and Crime Commissioner and the police service.
The aim of this strategy is to have a clear direction on ‘what’ we want to communicate, ‘why’ and with ‘whom’. The ‘when’ and ‘how’ will be detailed in an associated action plan.
A National Perspective
Nationally, NHWN will focus its communication primarily at force area associations with the expectation that the associations will then circulate relevant information from NHWN to their coordinators. The action plan will look at how this will be implemented, monitored and measured.
NHWN currently receives on average 13 new enquiries per day (national enquiry line, enquiry email and web forms) from the public, members, coordinators, media and partners. This does not include communication directly between the staff with existing contacts or replies sent via the national communication system.
The most popular page on the Our Watch website is the ‘your local area’ and ‘find a scheme’. Over 35,000 unique visitors go to the Our Watch website every month, with the majority being new visitors.
The new national website and the review of the current database and communication system will reflect this strategy. It is expected that the platforms will have been built by winter 2015, ready for a public-facing awareness campaign in 2016 after considerable training and support to force area associations to adopt and embed the new strategy and working practices.
Currently there are over 250 volunteer administrators who are contributing £1m of their time to managing and maintaining the national database and communication system.
[Force area] Perspective
[Force area description of current website, URL, database facilities, functionality, challenges and key requirements going forward, for example:]
The Executive Committee currently has a website primarily for the purpose of populating the database and allowing coordinators to map their scheme and for members to join. The website URL is [insert URL]. However, it does not offer any other information regarding the local context such as governance or contact details. It offers no crime prevention advice or toolkits. Going forward, it is anticipated that the Executive Committee will have an updated website, gifted by the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (NHWN), which will contain critical tools and resources, making the Executive Committee more open, transparent and visible to the public and coordinators alike. It will link to tools developed by NHWN and will enable the Executive Committee to communicate effectively and quickly to public and members and respond to enquiries which have previously been handled by the national charity.
[Description of accessibility of database facilities available to the force area Neighbourhood Watch Association in partnership with police. Shared facilities, interdependency, or lack of access should also be noted, for example:]
The Committee uses the same database and communication system as the police; [name of system]. Currently a limited number of volunteer administrators are trained to administer the database and send out messages via the system. It is anticipated that this will increase considerably, lifting pressure from the small number of volunteers who have already taken on this task.
[Description of force area Neighbourhood Watch Association ambitions and future activity, for example:]
The Committee is fully on board with rolling out the national framework and encouraging all coordinators to map their schemes onto the database to ensure that they adhere to local and national membership procedures and policies. This will enhance the reach and proactive nature of the coordinators.
This strategy aims to help create a structure to ensure that, as new volunteers come on board, a consistent and effective approach is undertaken in relation to communication.
[Evidence supporting the force area Neighbourhood Watch Association ambitions and future activity, for example:]
From a recent survey of registered Neighbourhood Watch members, coordinators and deputies on Community Connect, 76% of the respondents said that being on the system makes them more motivated to be more active in crime prevention and community safety.
Surprisingly, the users most preferred [name of system] as a method of communication with the police in a non-emergency situation (instead of face to face, press release, Facebook or Twitter).
[Description of who this force area Neighbourhood Watch Communication Strategy is aimed at and limitations to the strategy, for example:]
This strategy is specifically for communication directly from trained Neighbourhood Watch administrators under the supervision and direction of the Executive Committee. Further development is needed with regard to how the police engage with Neighbourhood Watch and work in partnership with the Executive Committee to ensure that timely and relevant messages and information are sent not only to members but also to other registered users on [name of system].
Communications from the Executive Committee and information sent out from [force area] Police should complement rather than contradict each other, but we aim for both to be valued by the recipients who choose to receive and respond to them.
What do we (NHWN and Force Level Associations) need and want to communicate?
About the movement in general
About [force area] Neighbourhood Watch Association
About the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network
Why do we need to communicate?
The movement in general
[Force area] Neighbourhood Watch Association
The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network
Who do we need to communicate with?
The [force area] Neighbourhood Watch Association
The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network