[FORCE AREA] NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH CONSTITUTION
Registered Charity No: [if applicable]
DATE OF ADOPTION: [INSERT DATE]
1. Name of the Organisation
1.1 The name of the organisation is [force area] Neighbourhood Watch Association (hereinafter referred to as ‘[force area abbreviation] NWA’ or ‘the Association’.
1.2 The Association shall be a [charitable], not for profit organisation, non-party in politics, non-sectarian in religion, operate an equal opportunities and non-discriminatory policy and will embrace diversity.
2. Objectives of the Organisation
2.1 To assist with the creation, development and support of Neighbourhood Watch Associations and Groups located across [force area], to promote good citizenship and greater public awareness, increase public participation in the prevention and detection of crime, reduce the fear of crime, improve police/community liaison and increase community safety in partnership with recognised Authorities and other relevant organisations.
In furtherance of the said Objectives the Association may:
3.1 Promote and assist in the development of Neighbourhood Watch Associations and Groups across [force area] and participate in the wider promotion of Neighbourhood Watch more generally.
3.2 Carry out research and surveys, provide and communicate information, services and advice to and on behalf of all Association Members, exchange information and share and promote best effective practice and acceptable behaviour and performance standards amongst all Neighbourhood Watch entities, and where relevant with other organisations. Provide relevant, accurate and timely information to the public and media in appropriate circumstances.
3.3 Act as a forum, co-ordinate resources and provide services for Association Members as appropriate, including the provision of small grants to Association Members when considered appropriate, arranging, providing for or assisting in the holding of meetings, seminars, training courses, exhibitions and the like.
3.4 Act as a consultative and advisory body to Authorities on matters affecting Neighbourhood Watch in [force area]. Represent the views and needs of Association Members and exchange information where appropriate to/with Authorities and other Neighbourhood Watch entities.
3.5 Raise funds, invite, receive and handle donations from any persons or bodies by way of subscription or otherwise, in such a prudent, reasonable and legal manner in accordance with charity law (Charities Act 2006) and the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Practice.
4.1 As of the date of adoption of this constitution, the voting membership shall consist of any recognised and authorised Neighbourhood Watch Association and/or Group within [force area], collectively known as ‘Association Members’. Where no Association or Group exist, the Chair may invite potential organisers to attend Association meetings.
4.2 Each Association Member shall be entitled to appoint a representative and at their option a deputy who is both a member of Neighbourhood Watch and resides within [force area].
4.3 An Association Member must give written notice to the Association of the name of its representative and any deputy. The nominee shall not be entitled to represent the respective Association or Group unless the notice has been received by the [force area] Neighbourhood Watch Association.
4.4 Membership is not transferable to anyone else and the Executive Officers hold the right to refuse an application for membership if they consider it to be in the best interests of the Association. In such case, the Executive Officers must inform the applicant in writing of the reasons for the refusal within [21 (twenty-one) days] of the decision, and consider any written representations the applicant may make about the decision. The Executive Officers’ decision following any written representations must be notified to the applicant in writing but shall be final.
4.5 Additional representation nominated by [force area] police and/or the local authority, shall be entitled to attend and speak at meetings but will not be deemed an Association member or permitted to vote on any issue.
4.6 The Association must keep a register of names and contact details of the Association Members, including authorised representatives and any deputies, which must be made available to any Association Member upon request.
5. Executive Officers
5.1 At a minimum, the Executive Officers shall consist of Association Members who are duly elected at an Annual General Meeting to the following Association positions; Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary, Treasurer (where relevant) and shall be responsible for the general control and management of the Association.
5.2 The Executive Officers shall have the power to co-opt up to [3 (three)] additional Neighbourhood Watch members residing in [force area], to fill vacant positions, extend current positions or assist the Executive Officers should the need arise, in order to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the Association.
5.3 Executive Officers shall elect a [force area] Neighbourhood Watch Association Representative, optional deputy and [force area] Neighbourhood Watch Communications Administrator, who shall be a Neighbourhood Watch member, residing in [force area]. Selection will be by a simple Association majority vote.
5.4 The Executive Officers may appoint such special or standing Committees as may be deemed necessary and shall determine their terms of reference, powers, duration and composition. All acts and proceedings of such special or standing Committees shall be reported back to the Executive Officers fully and promptly.
5.5 Each of the Executive Officers and co-opted members shall retire at each Annual General Meeting following his or her appointment, but shall be eligible for re-election.
6. Termination of Membership
6.1 An Association Member may resign by giving written notice to the Association Secretary. An Authorised Representative may resign by giving written notice to their Association Member, who shall inform the Association Secretary accordingly.
6.2 The Executive Officers shall have the right, for good and sufficient reason, to decline, discipline, suspend or terminate the membership of any Association Member, provided that the Authorised Representatives representing that Member are afforded the opportunity of being heard by the Executive Officers before a final decision is made.
6.3 The Executive Officers shall have the right, in partnership with the Association Members for the area concerned, to decline, discipline, suspend or terminate the membership of any Neighbourhood Watch member in [force area], including a member of any Committee or sub-Committee, who displays unacceptable behaviour or performance standards, commits any illegal act, or conducts themselves in a manner which threatens or may threaten to bring into disrepute the good name or reputation of Neighbourhood Watch or its members, or causes or may cause Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators or members to resign. Such a member shall be afforded the opportunity of being heard by the Executive Officers before a final decision is made
6.4 The agreement by a simple majority of the Executive Officers shall be necessary to decline, discipline, suspend or terminate any membership.
7. General Meetings
7.1 The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held in [specify month] each year or as soon as practicable within [4 (four)] weeks thereafter. At least [28 (twenty-eight)] clear days’ notice in writing shall be given by the Secretary to each Executive Officer and Authorised Representative. Notice given electronically shall be deemed to be notice in writing.
7.2 The Executive Officers may at their discretion declare the Annual General Meeting or any Extraordinary General Meeting to be open to all Neighbourhood Watch members residing in force area], or classes of members residing in [force area]. At the discretion of the Chair of the Meeting such invitees may be permitted to vote in person at such Meeting.
7.3 At the Annual General Meeting, Authorised Representatives shall elect the Executive Officers, and appoint the Auditor and Independent Examiner, as appropriate.
7.4 Nominations for the Executive Officers, duly proposed and seconded, shall be delivered to the Secretary at least [7 (seven)] days before the Annual General Meeting, with the consent of each nominee. Retiring Executive Officers standing for re-election shall not be required to deliver such notice. In the event of no nominations being received for a post prior to the Meeting, at the discretion of the Chair nominations may be accepted from the floor.
7.5 An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened at the discretion of the Executive Officers, or by a written request made to the Secretary by at least [two thirds] of the Authorised Representatives stating the specific reasons. The Secretary shall within a reasonable time convene a meeting subject to [21 (twenty-one)] clear days’ notice given to each Executive Officer and Authorised Representative. Every such person shall be entitled to attend and vote at the Extraordinary General Meeting.
8. Conduct at Meetings
8.1 At Association meetings, [two thirds] of the Association Membership shall constitute a quorum.
8.2 Resolutions shall be proposed and seconded, and ordinarily be passed by a majority of votes on a show of hands. However, a secret ballot may be held upon request of any Executive Officer or Authorised Representative present. This shall be adjudicated by an independent ex officio person, and the outcome recorded in the Minutes of that meeting.
8.3 The Chair of a meeting, when entitled to a vote, shall in the event of a tie also have a second or casting vote at that meeting.
8.4 Minutes shall be kept by the Executive Officers and all sub-Committees, and the appropriate Secretary shall enter therein a record of all proceedings and resolutions.
8.5 The Association shall meet not less than [3 (three)] times a year, with [21 (twenty-one)] clear days’ notice given to each Association Member.
9.1 The financial year shall end on [insert date and month].
9.2 All monies raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied to further the purposes of the Association and not otherwise. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the reimbursement in good faith of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses necessarily and properly incurred in furtherance of the Objectives.
9.3 The Treasurer shall keep proper and accurate Accounts of the finances of the Association. The Treasurer will report to each meeting of the Association, at each Annual General Meeting, and whenever requested by the Executive Officers, a true and fair view of the financial situation of the Association. In addition, the Treasurer will produce for inspection at any reasonable time the bank books, cash books and other financial documentation and information concerning the Association where requested.
9.4 Where relevant, a bank account shall be maintained in the name of the Association with such bank as the Executive Officers shall from time to time decide. The Executive Officers shall authorise in writing nominated Executive Officers, one always being the Treasurer, who shall from time to time determine to make payments or sign cheques on behalf of the Association. All payment authorisations and cheques must be signed by two of the authorised signatories.
10.1 If the Executive Officers and Authorised Representatives jointly decide, by a simple majority, it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Association, the Executive Officers shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting stating the terms of the Resolution to be proposed thereat. If such decisions shall be confirmed by a [75% (seventy-five percent)] majority of votes of those present and voting at such meeting, the Executive Officers shall have the power to dispose of any assets held by or on behalf of the Association.
10.2 Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of the Association as the Executive Officers may decide, or may be applied for some other charitable or Neighbourhood Watch purpose.
11. Amendments to the Constitution
11.1 Any proposed alterations to this Constitution shall require the assent of not less than [75% (seventy-five percent)] majority of votes of those present and voting at an Annual General Meeting. Notice of any such alteration must have been received by the Secretary in writing not less than [21 (twenty-one)] clear days before the Meeting at which the alterations are to be proposed. At least [14 (fourteen)] clear days’ notice in writing of such a Meeting, setting out the terms of the proposed alterations, must be sent by the Secretary to every Executive Officer and Authorised Representative.
11.2 No alteration to Clause 2 (Objectives), Clause 10 (Dissolution) or this Clause 11 (Amendments to the Constitution) shall come into force until the approval of the Charity Commission (if relevant) or other authority having charitable jurisdiction shall be obtained, and no other alterations shall be made which would have the effect of causing the Association to cease to be a charity at law.
11.3 In circumstances where minor changes to the Constitution are deemed necessary, such changes may be made following a simple majority vote of approval by the Executive Officers. These changes, including such items as change of name, change of Committee numbers and/or responsibilities, frequency of meetings, etc., that are considered necessary by circumstances prevailing at the time, may be made provided that such changes in no way alter Clauses 2, 10 or 11.
12. Declaration of Adoption
12.1 On behalf of the [force area] Neighbourhood Watch Association, I hereby declare that this constitution was approved and adopted at our Annual General Meeting held at [AGM location address] on [AGM date].