NW and the Police

Neighbourhood Watch aims to foster a strong and positive working relationship with the police both locally and nationally.


At a local level our members and coordinators can help to ensure the police meet the needs of their communities. Where the relationship is working well, Neighbourhood Watch coordinators are a trusted source of information about crime and suspicious incidents, and can also help the police to pass on crime prevention advice to members and other residents.

Coordinators are often instrumental in identifying issues of local concern, as well as promoting community cohesion and increasing confidence in local policing. Each year they contribute the equivalent of £1billion of their time to preventing crime and building stronger communities.

Neighbourhood Watch is run by volunteers and is not owned or managed by the police. However, police staff often contribute resources – most noticeably their time, but also sometimes other forms of in-kind support – to the set-up and running of schemes.

At force area level

At force area level, each police force has a ‘single point of contact’ (SPOC) for Watch issues. The SPOC usually also covers other types of Watch scheme such as Farm Watch, Horse Watch, Dog Watch etc. which are not officially part of the Neighbourhood Watch Network. They liaise with the force area level Neighbourhood Watch Association (comprised of volunteers).

We also encourage Neighbourhood Watch Associations to develop a good relationship with their Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC). A number of Associations have received funding for projects via their PCC. We are keen to promote the benefits the movement can bring in the areas of crime prevention, neighbourhood policing and community resilience, and to make sure the role of volunteers has its place in force-wide strategies.


The Neighbourhood Watch movement is part of the Citizens In Policing family, along with the Special Constabulary, Police Support Volunteers and Cadets. At a national level we work closely with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), particularly with Chief Constable Dave Jones of North Yorkshire Police who leads on the Citizens In Policing portfolio. We also work with the College of Policing and the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners (APCC).

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  • How-does-Neighbourhood-Watch-work-with-the-police.pdf