Coordinators information document
Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch
The Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch Steering Group
What is Neighbourhood Watch?
Neighbourhood Watch is about local people
working together to create safe and friendly places to live,
places where crime is less likely to happen.
It’s about you looking out for your neighbours
and them looking out for you.
The main aim of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme is to create a partnership between the local community and the police.
Neighbourhood Watch is a great way of building community relations and working together with the police and local council to reduce crime, reduce the fear of crime and improve the quality of life in your area.
Neighbourhood Watch is run by volunteers for volunteers and it is not a Police led organisation. Surrey Police support in partnership with a network of volunteers who work across Runnymede in an effort to make our communities safer.
Neighbourhood Watches can be established and organised in many different ways and there is no ‘one size fits all’ template. An individual watch could be a road or street, block of flats or a section of a road or estate. This document is a guide as to how Neighbourhood Watch is structured in Runnymede.
The Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch Steering Group RNHWSG
The Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch Steering Group works closely with your Safer Neighbourhoods policing team to represent the views of local Neighbourhood Watch schemes.
It was set up in 2010 with the aim of improving neighbourhood watch value by providing support and information for both new and existing Neighbourhood Watch schemes across Runnymede Borough. The group also seeks initiatives to help keep Runnymede communities safer.
In common with all Neighbourhood Watch activity the group is formed of volunteers supported by professionals from Surrey Police.
Good communications between the Police, the RNHWSG and neighbourhood watches is a vital element of ensuring watches are effective and is a key priority of RNHWSG. The steering group maintains a database of watch contact details with the emphasis moving toward email communications.
RNHWSG is represented at the Surrey Neighbourhood Watch Association to establish a two way dialogue with area and national Neighbourhood Watch organisations.
Active Citizen System.
Surrey Police has developed and implemented the Active Citizen communications system. This system allows the dissemination of information and will improve the management and accuracy of the communication networks between Surrey Police and Neighbourhood Watch members. It will enhance the quality and timeliness of information distributed as well as improve the targeting of communications to specific groups in specific geographic locations. Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators are encouraged to register as a recipient.
I Wish to Set Up a Neighbourhood Watch in My Road.
To set up a Neighbourhood Watch you will need:
Someone to take on the responsibility of watch coordinator. See Appendix 'A' for details of the role.
One or two neighbours willing to be deputy coordinators.
A reasonable proportion of the residents of the area you wish to set up as a watch to be willing to participate. See Appendix 'B' for member obligations.
Support will be provided by members of The RNHWSG, Surrey Police Crime Reduction Officers or your PCSO throughout the process of setting up a watch to:
Arrange initial contact with your watch members via a start up meeting or letter communications as required.
Register your watch with RNHWSG, Surrey Police and OurWatch.
Organise signage for your watch area.
Provide leaflets and template letters should they be needed.
Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability Insurance (PLI) cover is provided by a free Home Office sponsored policy. The policy covers all existing and new Surrey Police recognised Neighbourhood Watches therefore individual watches or Borough/District organisations are not required to apply for a separate policy.
Neighbourhood Watch Signs
Neighbourhood Watch signs are the visible front of Neighbourhood Watch and along with window stickers they are a proven crime deterrent. Instantly anyone entering an area or road can see that a watch is in operation. In general they should be placed at all vehicle and pedestrian entry points. RNHWSG currently fund the purchase of NhWatch signs for individual watches to erect.
Typical duties of a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator
- Keep an up to date list of watch members, including email addresses where available.
- Receive information (alerts, crime updates etc) from Surrey Police or RNHWSG and disseminate this data to watch members via a media that is appropriate for the watch. Note - Most watches attempt to achieve communications by email with non email users being supported by neighbours thus sustaining the interest of members through regular, timely and relevant communications.
- Supply members with NhW stickers for doors and windows and other Neighbourhood Watch material that may become available.
- Encourage non-participating neighbours to join the watch.
- Encourage the setting up of additional watches in neighbouring areas.
- Welcome new residents to the watch area, inviting them to become members of the watch
- Encourage members of the watch to adopt crime reduction measures such as security marking their valuable property. (See appendix B)
- Act as a point of contact between your watch members, Surrey Police and RNHWSG.
- Notify Surrey Police and RNHWSG if you plan to leave the area or are not able to continue in your role and, if possible identify a replacement.
Neighbourhood Watch Members’ Obligations
These are a few basic guidelines about the role of a responsible member of a Neighbourhood Watch. This document provides some practical suggestions as to how Neighbourhood Watch members can improve the security of theirs and their neighbours home and property to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime.
Focussing On Your Neighbourhood
As well as improving the security of homes Neighbourhood Watch members can have a significant impact on security of your neighbourhood by:
- Meeting neighbours and getting to know them even if they are not currently part of the Neighbourhood Watch.
- Attempting to recruit additional members to the watch.
- Ensuring there is a Neighbourhood Watch sticker clearly displayed on all entry doors.
- Agreeing amongst members and neighbours to ‘keep an eye out’ for each others’ homes and property.
- and if something suspicious is seen, take a note of it and report it to the police. For non urgent matters call 101 or in an emergency 999.