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Neighbourhood Watch

When the Neighbourhood Watch concept was brought into being, it was based on the simple philosophy of "getting together with your neighbours to reduce local crime and disorder to make your neighbourhood a safer and better place to live, work and play". With changes in society make-up, and developments in technology, the traditional form of Neighbourhood Watch is a model which has needed updating for some time.

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Neighbourhood Watch is about building community spirit and good relations, bringing together local people with common goals, tackling crime and disorder and keeping an eye out for one another and on each other’s property, working together as the eyes and ears of the neighbourhood, picking up and taking action on anything that could cause concern or worry. It is not about being a ‘nosy neighbour’ but about being a good citizen and caring for and supporting your community.

The Citizens in Policing team have been looking at the existing model of Neighbourhood Watch and changing it to one which fits in with the above ethos but with societal and policing changes also accounted for. The below model is designed to make the process more fit for purpose and providing the level of service for the communities it needs to serve.

With the implementation of the Community Messaging System, North Yorkshire Police has been able to keep in touch with communities all across north Yorkshire, making them aware of incidents in their area and providing crime prevention advice and information on how to keep safe directly to people’s phones and email inboxes. With the implementation of this system contact with the local communities is maintained and even developed further through interactions on CMS and Social Media Groups.

On the three stage process the level of response is based on the level of need. The areas where there are higher instances of crime and antisocial behaviour are quite rightly offered the support to try to reduce these levels and would benefit the most from being within the Neighbourhood Watch network (known as Our Watch). Policing demand is also based on the level of need and the integration of this model based on demand and policing requirements is the fluid way forward whilst meeting the expectations of the local communities. The model allows local communities to build the resilience and networks whilst still maintaining the connections with their local policing teams.

Residents always have a better understanding of their neighbourhood and recognise unfamiliar occurrences, people or vehicles and hear comments of anything suspicious. They do not always appreciate how the police could value this as a missing part of the intelligence jigsaw and a major contribution to improving criminal detection rates, particularly in rural areas. Through social media channels and Community Messaging this information can be shared with ease.

The new model has not been created to change schemes that are currently active but can be used to complement them. It is important that residents interested in setting up a watch in their area checks www.ourwatch.org.uk and enters their postcode to see if there are any active watches in their area before making contact.

The emphasis will be on communities to maintain their own Social Media Groups and their own Community Messaging account, with input from Police on Crime Prevention, how to set social media groups up (if required) and how to sign people up to community messaging. If there is a requirement to set up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme , the Local Policing team will be available for the initial setup, but it will be the responsibility of the Scheme Coordinator to sign up to the OurWatch website, arrange meetings with residents, and order signs for the street , all of which are available on our website.

For any Neighbourhood Watch enquiries please contact us on NHWenquiries@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

To join a scheme:
Visit www.ourwatch.org.uk

Ordering signs

If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and require signage issuing in your area, you must complete the application form, available at the bottom of this page.  This should be submitted to BusinessAdmin@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk, or handed in to your nearest front counter.

Please ensure that you have obtained the correct permissions for erecting signs on highways or public land.  If you are requesting replacement signs, please make this clear on your forms so that we can check your previous permissions.  All guidance is in the document at the bottom of the page and any queries should be directed to BusinessAdmin@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

Once signs are issued, you will be contacted and the signs can be delivered to you, or left at your local Police Station for collection.

Watch Scheme signs policy and order form[doc]