Neighbourhood Watch’s Central Support Team (CST) provides support to local associations, groups and members to grow, diversify and develop the Neighbourhood Watch movement. This includes the provision of guidance and crime prevention toolkits on Neighbourhood Watch related matters, national liaison with key partners to support the growth of the Neighbourhood Watch movement and sharing effective practice by local areas.
The Neighbourhood Watch Network Board of Trustees set the strategic direction of Neighbourhood Watch with the support and executive function of the Central Support Team. The Central Support Team develops and delivers the strategic delivery plan and run regular national events to update members on progress against the action and involve them in new developments.
The Central Support Team commissions academic research and analysis to help identify and target the practical activities that will help to grow, develop and diversify the Neighbourhood Watch movement and develop tools that will assist us to understand, articulate and measure the impact of Neighbourhood Watch activity.
Toolkits and Resources
The Central Support Team develops and sources toolkits and resources for members to use for local campaigns, fundraising, crime prevention activity and projects, focusing on issues that align to the Neighbourhood Watch strategic plan and reflecting areas of concern nationally to our members, the police service and other partners including Government. We develop the means by which effective practice by Neighbourhood Watch groups and individuals can be identified, captured and shared across the Neighbourhood Watch movement.
Our Head of Membership and Engagement works with Neighbourhood Watch associations to understand their support needs and what assistance they require and to determine how this can best be provided to or accessed by the association. The Central Support Team has developed a self-assessment tool for associations to make their own assessment of their support needs. Central Support Team resources are limited, so local improvement support is carefully prioritised to ensure it is effective and delivered where it is of most benefit. Where there is no association in place, or an association needs significant support we run and/or fund re-invigoration and acceleration programmes that help with improvements by the association or identify new Neighbourhood Watch models that may work in particular areas.
Our Head of Partnerships and Projects develops national partnerships to identify upcoming issues and shared agendas and scopes ideas and joint projects with relevant partners designed to broaden the reach, diversity and impact of the Neighbourhood Watch movement. Working with associations and/or local partners the Central Support Team pilots and tests new ideas and projects to understand what role Neighbourhood Watch can have in raising public awareness of how to prevent a broad range of criminal activity and support vulnerable people. We provide tools to assist associations to develop and understand the impact of their local activity, offer advice about starting new projects and establishing local partnerships that support the 3-year Neighbourhood Watch strategic plan.
Our Head of Fundraising researches relevant national funding opportunities that align to Neighbourhood Watch priorities and prepares funding bids to support both core funding and specific project work against these priorities. The Central Support Team provides advice to individual associations to assist them to identify local relevant funding channels and runs workshops and gives general advice to members about how to prepare their bids. We also publish fundraising guidance and templates to assist local Neighbourhood Watch areas with their own funding bids.
The Central Support Team acts as the voice of the Neighbourhood Watch movement, leveraging the Neighbourhood Watch brand and capitalising on our national role and extended public reach to raise our profile and influence partners and other stakeholders. Our Senior Communications and Digital Manager identifies and develops media and press opportunities where Neighbourhood Watch has relevance and adds value to national debate and campaign activity. The Central Support Team keeps the Neighbourhood Watch movement up to date with relevant national developments in crime trends and prevention advice and shares local successes through our newsletter and regular news articles on our website. We regularly share partners’ campaign material that is relevant and useful to our membership and increasingly are developing our own campaigns.
The Central Support Team provides the national IT infrastructure for the Neighbourhood Watch movement, leading improvements and developments to our website and the national Neighbourhood Watch register. We assist associations to use the Neighbourhood Watch register by ensuring Multi Scheme Administrators (MSAs) have access to training and advice appropriate to their role, often provided locally, and resolving technical problems in liaison with the system provider.
Our Administrator manages telephone enquiries and e-mails received from Neighbourhood Watch members and the public. Local issues are then referred to association leads for them to deal with. We analyse all enquiries to identify the most frequently asked questions and publish guidance and advice on these issues or trouble shoot regularly recurring problems to try and reduce call and e-mail volumes - e.g. How to start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and scheme registration and mapping problems.