Strategic Plan Template

[Force Area] Neighbourhood Watch Association Strategic Plan


This five year strategic plan covers the geographical area of the town of [town] and the other districts within the county of [county / force area]: [districts and/or boroughs].

The [force area] Neighbourhood Watch Association is an independent community group and their inaugural AGM took place on [date].

This strategy is primarily aimed at helping the Executive committee to have easily identifiable and credible goals and direction which can be communicated clearly to supporters, partners, coordinators and funders.

This strategy has been developed through various consultation methods, particularly through the regional workshops which took place for the [region] on the [date] as part of the national business planning process for the next five years [list other consultation events, if relevant].

The plan reflects recent changes to the national charity based on their five year strategic plan (2015-20) as well as acknowledging the [force area] Police and Crime Plan (2014-2017).

This strategy should be read alongside the annual action plan/s (updated each year) to see how the strategic objectives and local delivery will be (and has been) achieved.

The National Picture

Neighbourhood Watch is the largest and most well-known voluntary crime prevention movement. It has an estimated 173,000 volunteer coordinators covering 3.8 million households equalling a combined reach of 8.7 million people across England and Wales (or 16% of the population) .

We know Neighbourhood Watch works; independent research shows that it can reduce crime by up to 26% . 90% of members believe that Neighbourhood Watch reduces crime and 94% that it increases community interaction.

Neighbourhood Watch street signs and window stickers are not just a public sign of membership but are also crime prevention tools: Home Office research has shown that 30% of burglars they asked regarded households covered by Neighbourhood Watch as ‘high risk’ to them during their mental selection process for target houses.

Neighbourhood Watch has a very strong brand with only 1% of the public never having heard of Neighbourhood Watch and over three-quarters of the public said they would join if they knew how or were asked.

Through Neighbourhood Watch, volunteer coordinators contribute £1billion worth of their time each year to preventing crime .

However, we know that membership varies between different demographic groups. Membership is highest in affluent areas, with an average of 25% of adults being members compared to only 6% in more deprived areas.

We also know that people deliberately stall leaving their homes or hide in their cars to avoid seeing a neighbour. People are not as eager to be neighbourly as they once were. However, the majority of people (65%) still believe that their neighbourhoods would be stronger if people were encouraged to get to know each other.

Austerity has also had a major impact on policing and on our interaction with partners, especially the police, and resources have considerably diminished. Various external factors have impacted on the movement as a whole.

The Local Picture

[Force area] has a population of [population figure] . Currently, as of [date] [force area] Neighbourhood Watch Association covers [number of schemes] schemes which equates to [number of households] households or [percentage] of the population.

The Constituted Association has been established since [date] and has an executive committee which looks after the day to day business of the association.

Vision, Mission and Values & Overarching Themes

The association’s vision, mission and values and overarching themes for [force area] are in line with the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network five year strategic plan (2015-20). However, the context behind the themes are reflective of the locality.

Our Vision: [is of a caring, cohesive, resilient society that is founded upon trust and respect, where the prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour is understood and embedded within communities].

Our Mission: [is to enable communities to work together on their own or with other agencies to identify and to help provide a protective safety net for those members who are vulnerable and at risk of harm].

Our Values: [to be credible, accountable, transparent, caring, realistic, inclusive, sustainable and independent].

Prevent Crime

Over the next five years, we will continue to focus on the prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour to seek effective and sustainable solutions aimed at managing and reducing the risk of becoming a victim, through active community involvement with national regional and local partnerships.

Desired Outcomes:

  • To have reduced the opportunity for crimes to occur.
  • To have encouraged the prompt reporting of crimes, suspicious acts and serious concerns. For those to be recorded and accordingly acted upon by law enforcement agencies.
  • To have increased the ability for individuals and communities to be able to identify threats as well as protect themselves and others.
  • By 2020 we will have:

  • Encouraged and supported a [force area] approach to crime prevention.
  • Encouraged effective collaboration between force level partners, stakeholders and policy decision makers.
  • Encouraged our membership and the public to promptly and confidently identify and report crimes, suspicious acts and other relevant information.
  • Undertaken an effectiveness mechanism to measure impact and effectiveness across [force area], in line with national guidelines.
  • Identified pathways to help enable communities in high crime rate areas to protect themselves from becoming a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour.
  • Stronger and Safer Communities

    By providing our membership with a voice and mobilising citizens to participate in local action, communities will be empowered to take on an active role in building stronger, better connected and safer communities.

    Desired Outcomes:

  • To enable communities to have an increased sense of purpose and ownership. For this to be supported and valued by law enforcement agencies, community safety partners and other relevant agencies.
  • For communities to feel able to anticipate and identify threats, take relevant action and address their issues and concerns in partnership with other agencies.
  • To generate improved trust and legitimacy between the community, police, and other authorities.
  • For communities to have a sense of collective responsibilities and efficacy.
  • To help communities be safer and more resilient.
  • By 2020 we will have:

  • Developed further strategic links and gained recognition and support for our contribution to building strong, safer, resilient communities.
  • Delivered actions to identify the needs of and provide tailored support for vulnerable and hard to reach communities and individuals, including repeat victims.
  • Worked with partners to maximise collective efficacy, effectiveness and use of resources so that everyone benefits from stronger and safer communities at optimum cost.
  • Ensured that communities have sound information and background knowledge on how to participate within local community resilience forums and other community safety initiatives.
  • Ensured that communities have understood the benefits of membership and had easy access to joining.
  • Effective Use of Resources

    It is essential that we continually review our use of resources to ensure we remain efficient, credible, valued and influential in all aspects of our work.

    Desired Outcomes:

  • To use the enormous volunteer resource capability in [force area] to strengthen and assist the police and other partners and agencies to prevent and reduce crime.
  • To achieve greater community participation and resilience to help generate safer and more cohesive communities.
  • Strengthen and support community activists across the movement to undertake the objectives of the association more effectively.
  • For volunteers to feel valued and enabled to participate at whatever level they choose to engage, supported by a national volunteers’ framework.
  • To raise the awareness within the public sector so that it is valued as an innovative, dynamic and integral part of civil society.
  • To support and engage with national sponsors to ensure that the movement as a whole has the resources to undertake its core business.
  • To understand our membership base and expand it where it is needed the most.
  • By 2020 we will have:

  • Strengthened our leadership, resources and infrastructure to ensure the association is equipped to respond to local and force level needs.
  • Reviewed and developed our infrastructure and existing membership, providing clearly defined roles and responsibilities to improve transparency, delivery and accountability at every level across the association.
  • Built and enhanced our capacity and sustainability including appropriate and sustainable financial support.
  • Ensured that we have the knowledge and skills to source adequate resources at all levels by the most appropriate means.
  • Analysed and evaluated ‘what works’ in line with the national evaluation toolkit.
  • Engaged with all coordinators and adopted a mandatory scheme database approach in line with the national framework.
  • Emerging Threats [In line with local priorities]


    Doors and windows were once the weak spots in homes, but the telephone socket, broadband cable and wi-fi router now poses a greater threat to security.

    Rural Crime

    The lack of police visibility is a concern that is particularly acutely felt in rural areas. Nearly a [proportion] of people in [force area] live in rural areas. [Add context, including local evidence obtained from police crime statistics, local council wards and/or PCC Crime Plan, if relevant].

    Files Attached

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  • Strategic-Plan-Template.docx