The History of Neighbourhood Watch
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has been committed to Neighbourhood Watch since it was first introduced in this country in 1982 in Mollington, Cheshire following
the success of a similar scheme in Chicago in the USA. Since then it has grown to be the largest voluntary group in the country.
What is Neighbourhood Watch?
The purpose of Neighbourhood Watch is to unite neighbourhoods in an effort to prevent crime, by protecting and enhancing their environment and generally looking out
for each other’s properties. Working in partnership with the local Neighbourhood Policing Teams gives Neighbourhood Watches a way of dealing with many issues affecting
their communities, such as anti-social behaviour, burglary and vehicle crime.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary recognises that Neighbourhood Watch schemes play a vital role in preventing crime and improving a community and through our local
Neighbourhood Watch Administrators and Neighbourhood Policing Teams, we work closely with residents and local organisations to support and increase membership across
the force area.
In Avon and Somerset we have Ringmaster, a dedicated Watch messaging system, operated by local Police staff, as well as dedicated local Neighbourhood Watch Administrators, as well as an HQ-based Development Officer.
Ringmaster allows us to relay important information to watches efficiently, increasing the opportunity for greater awareness and quality intelligence.
We have approximately 5,000 Neighbourhood Watch schemes covering some thirty percent of households. Nationally there are approximately 155,000 schemes covering up
to six million households.
In addition the Neighbourhood Watch, the constabulary supports over twenty different sorts of watches including Pub Watch, Church Watch, Horse Watch and Business Watch.
Reasons for joining/starting a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
Neighbourhood Watch is one of the biggest and most successful crime prevention initiatives ever and the largest voluntary organisation in the country.
Our statistics show that:
- you are four times less likely to be burgled if you are a member of a Watch scheme.
- Neighbourhood Watch brings communities together to tackle problems such as burglary, vandalism, anti-social behaviour and vehicle crime.
- Neighbourhood Watch is a great way to rekindle community spirit. For example here is a quote from a recent newsletter:
"The event, which was held on behalf of the charity Victim Support, raised over £1,000. The real significance of the fayre to Neighbourhood
Watch was not so much the money raised but the excellent support given by everyone who took part in it and had such an enjoyable time. Ours is
a small hamlet of no more than one hundred household members, lying between two larger villages in South Gloucestershire, which lacks a focal point
to give it identity. The objective of the event, therefore, was to increase a feeling of community, which assists the fight against crime. In this
respect it was also a great success".
- Neighbourhood Watch encourages a sense of security amongst you and your neighbours and knowing that you are keeping an eye on each other’s property gives reassurance,
particularly for those who feel vulnerable.
- Local Neighbourhood Policing Teams work closely with Neighbourhood Watches to ensure that up to date crime prevention advice and initiatives are made available to keep your home safe.
- you may qualify for a discount on your home insurance premiums if you are a member of a registered scheme.