Spreading the Neighbourhood Watch Message

Describe your best practice
We have an annual target of attending at least 40 events, fetes and fairs, community meetings, talks to groups, etc.

We get many invites to community events which are generally provided by local charities.

What did you do and why?
We work actively with Councillors, Police, community groups and residents’ associations, other local charities, such as U3A, & Age UK to attend events.

Our objective is to talk to as residents and visitors about Neighbourhood Watch, the benefits of being involved and introduce new community groups to the movement, with a positive intent to reduce crime and the fear of crime.

We provide a source of advice and reassurance to residents. We also aim to create and develop closer, more cohesive community links against the backdrop of lower policing numbers and increasing crime.

Duration of the project
1 day. This is one of multiple events we attend throughout the year

What worked well?
Volunteers are sought from our committee and a group of co-ordinators who are willing to assist us.

We have a modern Gazebo which is an advertisement for us. We will display a selection of crime prevention and advice leaflets which we can give out to visitors to the event. Pens with our details and bells to attach to purses and wallets to discourage theft are also distributed.The important thing is that we talk to as many people as possible, listen to their problems and give advice dispelling their fear of crime.

How did you overcome any challenges?
We beg and borrow any other material or equipment we need. We will often be based alongside our local police team so there is always something we can share with them. We ensure that the material we have on display is relevant to the time of year and problems that resident face locally, so if burglary has gone up in the area the emphasis is on that aspect. We make sure we research that before the event. We also carry with us a pocket of dog biscuits. If you can make friends with the dog, with the owners consent, then you have made friends with the owner. Many of our HoundWatch members have started that way.

How did you cover any costs?
No direct costs, we are all volunteers although our Gazebo was sponsored by a local business. The fun of taking part far outweighs any minor costs we might expend.

Which main category does this fall into?
Developing Your Watch

Force/ Borough area
LB Bexley

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