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Neighbourhood Watch In Central Bedfordshire

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

What Does Neighbourhood Watch Do?

Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) is one of the most effective crime reduction schemes ever devised. It is all about neighbourhoods getting together and having a positive impact on crime in their area. Each street (i.e. any small and defined area), is covered by a Street (Scheme) Coordinator and each area by an Area Coordinator. NHW schemes are community run initiatives which are supported by the Police, but are not run by them.

The effectiveness of each scheme depends on the efforts and enthusiasm of its members. The number and types of activities run within a scheme are decided by the members.

At a basic level being a NHW member means being aware of what is going on in the local area, taking simple crime reduction precautions to prevent and reduce crime, e.g. displaying NHW signs in windows and in the street, being alert to anything suspicious in the area and reporting it to the right authority.

A more active scheme might wish to organise events to raise security awareness and to carry out specific training.

What Makes a Scheme a Success?

Enthusiasm and commitment are critical. The more effort members put into their scheme the more effective and successful it will be. Therefore NHW supports people in the development of safer communities by:

  • Helping them have a personal influence on crime reduction
  • Improving the quality of life in their neighbourhood by making people feel safer in their own homes and making their homes feel safer from theft and damage, and thus:
    • Raising community confidence by reducing the fear of crime, by:
      • Enhancing community spirit

Neighbourhood Watch Organisation

The Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) organisation in Central Bedfordshire is by Areas and Streets and is linked closely with the Police Inspector Led Neighbourhood Areas (ILNAs) and the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs). The SNT is the key point of contact with the Police.

Street and Area Coordinators

The coordinator is the most important member of any scheme as it is his/her responsibility to manage its activities and make it as effective as possible. For continuity there should also be a deputy. The more people involved the better, as long as the involvement is managed and coordinated. The coordinator is there to help, so a tactful approach is always essential. The aim is always neighbourhood cooperation.

NHW and the Local Community

As a key element in the voluntary sector NHW has close links with the Police and Community Safety Partnerships. It would be invaluable to us, in seeking to extend NHW coverage in Central Bedfordshire, if we could call upon your support. The level of support is of course yours to decide and, as a Parish Councillor myself, I recognise the current financial restrictions. However, any practical help you could provide, such as venues for meetings and the distribution of NHW information, would be very welcome. Even if that level of support is not possible could you, perhaps, provide us with a platform, through your scheduled Council meetings, to promote NHW in your area? I am sure that the members of our Committee would be very happy to brief your Council on NHW and help in any way we can to widen NHW coverage and enhance community safety.

Tony Howells
Chairman Central Bedfordshire NHW

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council

Energy Questionnaire Warning

This article was published in November 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Police and Neighbourhood Watch would like to make people aware of the following report on BBC's “Watchdog” programme featured on 4 November 2010 about the following survey that is soon to be sent to over 1 million homes.

N-Power, Unilever and Talk Talk are among the many companies sponsoring a survey that is to be sent out by TNT. They request you fill in a questionnaire detailing your personal information and to leave it on your doorstep in an unsealed paper bag for collection the following day.

The questionnaire is five pages long and contains one hundred and eighty six questions about your personal circumstances.

The Information Commissioner's Office has stated that;
"These surveys usually require people to provide a large amount of personal information - ranging from whether they have any outstanding medical conditions, to details of their household income. Anyone approached to fill in one of these surveys should think twice before leaving information like this on their doorstep. They should be aware that anyone could potentially pick it up, opening the way to identity theft. People completing these forms should also understand who will have access to their information and what it will be used for."

More advice and information is available from the Watchdog website.

Source: Community Message from Thames Valley Police, Aylesbury on 18 November