We have launched a national Community Safety Charter enabling local businesses to stand up against crimes such as antisocial behaviour, hate crime, intimidation, and harassment.
Over the past 12 months more women have reported feeling unsafe in parks or other open spaces after dark than in the previous year (84% vs 81%) disabled adults repeatedly report feeling less safe than non-disabled adults in all public spaces, and despite a 9% rise in police recorded hate crimes, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency reports 9 out of 10 hate crimes still go unreported. **
A third (33%) of people believe antisocial behaviour has increased in the past three years, with half (50%) of people feeling it is most like to happen in their local town or city centre. More than half (57%) of those who have experienced or witnessed it did not report it to anyone.
For forty years we have been a household name in community-based crime prevention. We recognise that by enabling their 90,000 volunteers to join forces with local businesses and organisations, whole communities can stand up against crimes in public spaces.
By signing up to the Community Safety Charter, people, businesses, and organisations pledge to do four actions: promote a culture that does not tolerate those harmful behaviours, enable others to take an active stance against them, encourage reporting, and support those affected by the crimes.
John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network, said, “With the cost-of-living crisis upon us, we believe we can expect to see an even greater rise in community-based crimes such as violence against women and girls, disability hate crime, antisocial behaviour, and harassment.”
John continues, “Our Community Safety Charter enables us all – schools, libraries, bus companies, faith groups, local shops and even your local postie - to play a key part in creating an environment in which crimes such as these in public spaces are not tolerated.”
Through the Community Safety Charter, we provide a greater understanding of how to recognise and deal with community safety issues. Bystanders can safely intervene and support victims in accessing where to get help, and how and who to report to. The Charter enables everyone to take a positive and proactive approach when witnessing or experiencing confrontation, hostility, or harassment.
We soft-launched the Community Safety Charter at our national crime conference in May, and a diverse range of forty-eight organisations have already signed up, including charities, individuals, police representatives, local shops, and housing associations.
Rebecca Bryant, CEO of Resolve, said “Antisocial behaviour impacts every community. To address this issue nationally, we must speak with one voice. This is why we have signed up to the Charter and partnered with Neighbourhood Watch to promote its message with members and the communities we work with.”
Rebecca continues, “With ASB Awareness Week from 18th July, it provides an opportune time to sign up to the Charter and show we can make communities safer.”
We have traditionally been a hyper-local charity with members joining their local street group. Alongside that option, there are now much more robust and versatile methods of joining our national charity as an individual, a business, or a community group through their affiliate membership model.
To find out more about our Community Safety Charter or joining the charity visit ourwatch.org.uk/charter.
- All survey figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2006 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st – 4th April 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
- ** https://www.euractiv.com/section/non-discrimination/news/9-in-10-hate-crimes-go-unreported-eu-fundamental-rights-agency-finds/
- Spokespeople available for interview on this story
- Neighbourhood Watch was founded in 1982 and is the largest crime-prevention voluntary movement in England and Wales
- More information about Neighbourhood Watch, including how to join or register a scheme, is available at ourwatch.org.uk and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn