Neighbourhood Watch reveals its members will buck the trend for turnout in next week’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections – but PCC’s still need to do more to raise their profiles.

  • Survey of 5,006 members and coordinators reveals PCC’s still have work to do to raise their profile.
  • 67% of respondents said they are intending to vote in the PCC elections on May 5, 2016.
  • 81% of respondents said they had had “no direct contact” with their PCC since the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections in November 2012.
  • 64% did not know who the local candidates were in next Thursday’s PCC election.

As polling day for England and Wales’ Police and Crime Commissioner election approaches on May 5 Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (NHWN) today reveals the results of its own recent survey into its members’ perception of the PCC election process.

NHWN had 5,006 responses to a survey it sent to its members and co-ordinators between April 8 and April 22 using its scheme register.

Of those who responded 41% were members, 48% were coordinators and 11% were classed as ‘other’- police officers, police staff or other people with a connection to Neighbourhood Watch that the survey was passed onto.

The results from the survey showed:

  • 54% of respondents voted in the first ever PCC elections in November 2012. Compared to an average turnout of just 15% nationally. (30% of respondents did not vote in the PCC election and 16% did not remember why they didn’t).
  • When asked why they didn’t vote in the 2012 election – 19% had a lack of knowledge of the candidates, 13% were unaware of the elections and 34% had other reasons for not voting.
  • 67% of respondents said they intended to vote in this 2016 election (compared with 50% who said they intended to vote before the 2012 election) 11% did not intend to vote and 22% were undecided.
  • 64% of respondents said they did not know which candidates were standing in the 2016 election. 24% did know the candidates and 12% said they knew some of the candidates.
  • 81% of respondents had had no direct contact with their PCC since they were elected in 2012.

Jim Maddan OBE, chair of Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, said: “These results show that, not surprisingly, our members and coordinators are very interested in who is holding the police to account in their area. But it also shows that elected PCC’s – and organisations like ours – still have work to do together to raise the profile of the PCC role locally.

“With this in mind we are making sure that as an organization with 3.8 million member households in England and Wales we can influence and assist PCC’s in their role. We are investing in a new role within our organisation of Police Liaison Manager to make sure our movement is front and centre with PCC’s and senior police officers across England and Wales.”

Over the 34 years since the movement has been active across England and Wales, Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators have contributed £34 billion worth of their time fighting crime*.

Respondents to the 2016 NHWN survey came from Thames Valley (17%), Sussex (14%), Hampshire (10%), Lincolnshire, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire (6%) Northamptonshire and Wiltshire (5%), Durham, Nottinghamshire and Dorset (4%) and Leicestershire, Devon and Cornwall, Derbyshire, Cumbria and Cleveland (2% respectively)

Other responses (under 1%) came from each of the following areas: Avon and Somerset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, Humberside, Kent, Lancashire, Merseyside, Norfolk, Northumbria, North Wales, South Wales, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Warwickshire and west Yorkshire.