Some Neighbourhood Watch schemes do become inactive. If a Neighbourhood Watch group is ready to close or has had no activity for many months, how the scheme is delivered needs to be reconsidered and may benefit from working with other community groups in the area.
First, contact Central Support Team and ask them to check what happened to the previous Coordinator – they may have moved on or had to stop running the scheme for personal reasons.
Then, you should try to establish what the scheme had hoped to achieve when it was set up – using the same four questions as if you are setting up a whole new scheme:
- When the scheme was first set up, what were the expectations – what did people hope to gain from the scheme?
- What activities were there to support the scheme?
- What were the commitments in terms of time, resources and finance?
- Were your activities and commitments enough to meet the expectations you agreed on?
Having listed these expectations, activities and commitments, the next stage is to look at each item and ask: ‘Did the scheme achieve this or not? If not, what can be done differently this time?’
Also, try to think of the good things that were achieved and work out how you can build on them to relaunch the scheme.
- Changing the image: While you obviously need to keep the title ‘Neighbourhood Watch’, you could slightly expand the scheme’s area and alter its name, even if it covers virtually the same area. You can also change the image by altering the design of your newsletter or publicity material. You could consider setting up a website or social media channel.
- Timing: When you consider the timing of your relaunch, try to take advantage of local events and align this with local priorities or deliver the launch along with other local community partners.
- Keeping it going: Keep checking that you are still on course to achieve your objectives. Consider reviewing your position every three months, at least in the initial stages.