Connect and Build: Improving local Neighbourhood Watch and police communication

Describe your best practice
Weoley Neighbourhood Watch coordinators felt there was a lack of support and communication from neighbourhood police teams. Therefore, we wanted to bring everyone together to understand how to improve the way local police and Neighbourhood Watch schemes work with each other to provide effective support for residents in the community.

What did you do and why?
Following a meeting between coordinators and the local Inspector, it was agreed that there was room for improvement from both sides. In order to make improvements, all of the Weoley Watch Coordinators (approximately 8 schemes in Weoley) attended a meeting at Bournville with the local Police Inspector.

Duration of the project
One day for the initial meeting and then a regular meeting every two months then on.

What worked well?
It was agreed that all 8 Neighbourhood Watch schemes would collectively arrange and hold a unified Weoley Neighbourhood Watch meeting every 2 months which the neighbourhood policing team will attend. In addition, the use of WMNow,. a community messaging system, has been improved both in quality and relevance.

We also produced a bi-monthly newsletter highlighting some of the more positive work, as well as active citizen/connect and build opportunities.

How did you overcome any challenges?
There were some expectations based on what teams offered years ago before the cuts, including arranging and attending meetings, posting leaflets etc. An open conversation was had to look at what each partner could realistically expect from each other and agree a way to fulfil the local commitment to Neighbourhood Watch.

How did you cover any costs?
Police offered £250 funding which enables Neighbourhood Watch to book a venue for the meetings.

Force/ Borough area
West Midlands

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