Where do I start?

Setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

Crimes

Terrorism
Terrorism
Domestic Abuse
Domestic Abuse
Scams and Older People
Scams and Older People
Modern Slavery
Modern Slavery
Child Sexual Exploitation
Child Sexual Exploitation
Serious Violence
Serious Violence
Loneliness and Vulnerability
Loneliness and Vulnerability
Social Media
Social Media
Burglary
Burglary
Setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
Setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

Terrorism

Domestic Abuse

Modern Slavery

Child Sexual Exploitation

Serious Violence

Loneliness and Vulnerability

Social Media

Burglary

IF I WANT TO SET UP A NW SCHEME, WHERE DO I START?

If you are keen to set up a NW group in your local area, the first step is to check whether there is already a scheme in place.  You can do this by entering your postcode on the home page of the NW website, www.ourwatch.org.uk, and hitting search.  This will give you a list of existing schemes in your area.

If there is already a scheme in place, you can register your interest on the Our Watch website and your local co-ordinator will contact you.  At that point, you could ask the co-ordinator if they would like any help or support in running the scheme.

If there is no scheme already, you can set up a scheme.  Some scheme co-ordinators will have spoken to some neighbours beforehand to make sure there is some support for setting up a scheme.  Other co-ordinators like to set up the scheme and then tell people who they can join.  Either way, following these steps will help you to set up a scheme:

Steps to follow when you set up a scheme

  1. Go to www.ourwatch.org.uk. Put in your postcode, or for recently built areas a postcode nearby (like the postcode of a local shop). Scroll down to near the foot of the page to scheme not showing, and press enter

  2. The screen will show the registration process. Click to agree the terms and conditions.

  3. Enter your own details to register yourself first and create a password as indicated on screen. Press proceed to next step and press enter

  4. Confirm map location as requested to do so on screen.  Then press proceed to next step

  5. Complete your details.  Press proceed to next step and tick what communication you would like.  Press proceed to next step

  6. Complete the page as requested and press proceed to next step

  7. Tick what information providers you want to receive information from and press proceed with current selection

  8. Press on JOIN (when setting up a new scheme) and follow the instructions by naming your NW scheme

  9. Select your role from the drop-down box as co-ordinator and press proceed to next step

  10. Map your scheme (follow instructions on page or press proceed to next step).  Press proceed and add the details of the scheme.  Press proceed and enter the verification number given to you on screen.  Press enter and the registration is completed.

Once this is done, go onto your email and verify email address and the registration is now complete.

If you have any problems signing up, contact the Neighbourhood Watch Network Enquiries Desk on Enquiries@ourwatch.org.uk and they will be able to help.

The boundaries of any new scheme are mapped when you register on Our Watch. The smallest groups have just a few homes, perhaps in a cul-de-sac, or two or three properties in a rural community.  In a tower block, a scheme may cover a whole floor. There is no maximum size of a scheme, but it important that the scheme is of a size that the coordinator feels they can comfortably manage.

You don’t need support from every household, however, involving a good proportion of the residents within an area will mean there are enough residents to keep an eye out for each other’s properties and report any criminal activity and suspicious incidents.

Here are some ideas to involve your neighbourhood and community:

  • Organising a public meeting and inviting members of the community to attend

  • Distributing letters or leaflets to all properties within the area you would like your scheme to cover and inviting people to contact you

  • Writing an article in your local community newsletter

  • Going door-to-door to speak to residents individually

  • Posting an item on your local community social media pages

Once you have registered your new scheme, it is highly recommended that you contact your local Neighbourhood Watch Association (these are generally aligned with police force areas or London boroughs). For more info about Associations and a list of those currently in operation, click here. If there is no Association already operating in your area, contact the national NW by emailing enquiries@ourwatch.org.uk. NW will then contact you and connect you with a nearby coordinator for support and advice on how the process works locally.

Then, contact your local police or Police Community Support Officer to let them know you are have set up or are in the process of setting up a new scheme. Find your local force on www.police.uk or call 101.

Different NW Associations and police forces have different systems for registering new schemes.  Some may require coordinators to undergo checks or be verified by referees; others may require schemes themselves to undergo an accreditation process. (This is why, when you enter your postcode into the homepage of www.ourwatch.org.uk, some schemes are listed as ‘self-declared’ while others are listed as ‘verified’ by different agencies.  You can read more about verification here.)  The central support team at Neighbourhood Watch Network does not accredit schemes or coordinators.

As residents confirm their support for the scheme, they will need to register on the Our Watch website to be a member. (Click here to read the Neighbourhood Watch Network’s privacy policy regarding use of people’s data.) Once they do this you will receive an email to the address you registered your scheme under.  The email will say these people have asked to join your scheme.  You should then contact them to welcome them to the scheme and give them your contact details.

Click here for a step-by-step guide to enable people to join their local scheme via the Our Watch website.

Should people not wish to register on the NW website, you can keep your own records of your scheme’s members.  However, if you do this you must ensure these records comply with Data Protection laws and you must be sure to obtain their consent to pass on their contact details to anyone else.  Click here for our guide to Data Protection legislation. We recommend encouraging all residents to join via the NW website, as then co-ordinators aren’t keeping people’s personal data themselves. If residents are reluctant to do this, you could offer to do it for them.

Launch meeting

When a scheme is first formed it is helpful to have a launch meeting with all the members of the new scheme. At this meeting you can:

– Talk about what the scheme is going to do and how it will work within the neighbourhood

– Determine how members wish to be communicated with – email, regular meetings, social media pages?