The presence of an active or visible Neighbourhood Watch local group helps people feel safer, whether they are part of a group or not*. The crime prevention and community charity has been established for over 40 years and is well recognised for being community focussed and neighbourly. Two-thirds* of us think that Neighbourhood Watch groups contribute to community health and wellbeing, strengthen community spirit, and represent our local community.
However, it is not all good news – while Neighbourhood Watch is well known, many people think it is part of or an extension of the police and not the independent charity it is. Neighbourhood Watch encourages neighbours to unite to create safer, stronger, and more active communities. In most areas, but not all, this involves working closely with the police as partners to ensure the community's voice is heard. Neighbourhood Watch has just agreed on a liaison framework with the police to ensure there is good two-way liaison between local groups and the police to enable the local community's voice to be heard.
Ian Bretman, Chair of Neighbourhood Watch, said: "I am amazed by the power of collaboration between communities, local Neighbourhood Watch groups and the police. Our new shared liaison framework strengthens our collective ability to improve safety for everyone. It is a testament to the transformative potential when communities and police work hand in hand, creating a safer, more inclusive environment for all."
The 90,000 Neighbourhood Watch volunteer Coordinators across England and Wales are supported on a force area level by Associations run by dedicated volunteers and on a national level by Neighbourhood Watch Network – an independent umbrella charity. To celebrate these incredible people, the charity is launching a Volunteer Recognition Award during its annual Neighbourhood Watch Week, which runs from the 3rd – 9th of June. From the 3rd to the 7th July, anybody can nominate a Coordinator or other Neighbourhood Watch volunteer for a Volunteer Recognition Award.
John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch, said: "Volunteers are the heartbeat of our charity, connecting people in communities with their dedication and commitment. These remarkable people give their time, skills, and passion to helping us all feel, safer and more connected."
John continues: "We are proud to recognise their efforts through our Volunteer Recognition Awards. If you know of a Coordinator or other Neighbourhood Watch volunteers making a difference in your area, nominate them for an Award."
The Volunteer Recognition Awards this year focuses on Neighbourhood Watch groups and Coordinators who make their area a better place to live. The three categories for nominations are innovation and reach, crime prevention, and community health and wellbeing.
To find out more visit ourwatch.org.uk/volunteerawards.
*Neighbourhood Watch Insights Survey 2023 – Perception report, 20,000 responses from Neighbourhood Watch members and non-members