Neighbourhood Watch began life in the UK over 30 years ago in response to rising crime, but today, as times change, it covers all aspects of keeping safe.
Our main aims are to prevent crime, reduce the fear of crime, and improve safety. That means that whilst combating crime remains our core aim, whether it be traditional crime or new and emerging trends, we also help out in other important ways that help protect our communities, such as during and after emergencies.
Neighbourhood Watch promotes good citizenship and greater public awareness through Neighbourhood Watch groups, increases public participation in the prevention and detection of crime and anti-social behaviour, reduces the fear of crime, improves police/community liaison and increases public and community safety.
The modern Neighbourhood Watch is about making sure that no one has to feel afraid, vulnerable or isolated in the place where they live. It's about people looking out for each other, crossing barriers of age, race and background to create strong, cohesive communities that benefit everyone.
Neighbourhood Watch acts as the eyes and ears of the community. As a result, it has been shown that Neighbourhood Watch areas are far less likely to be targeted by criminals.
"Crime cannot flourish in a community that cares."
Neighbourhood Watch is a “grass roots” organisation, run by its members for its members. Anybody can join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Usually residents in a neighbourhood who support the aims and objectives of Neighbourhood Watch agree amongst each other that they will come together and form a local scheme, with the support of a local Association and Bedfordshire Police. This might be one or two streets in a town, or even part of a street, or it could be an entire village. Neighbourhood Watch partners Bedfordshire Police to check the suitability of the local coordinator to hold that position.
The Central Bedfordshire Neighbourhood Watch Federation, set up with the full support of Bedfordshire Police, support which continues today, acts as a forum, co-ordinates resources, provides advice, support and help to its members and helps to share best effective practice, as well as seeking to raise the profile of Neighbourhood Watch. We regularly interact with Bedfordshire Police and enjoy their respect. We currently represent the views of our members to the Neighbourhood Watch Network across England and Wales.
The Neighbourhood Watch Network represents all Neighbourhood Watch members across England and Wales. It is the body that engages with the Home Office and other partners at the strategic level. It supports our Federation and all the local Associations to help make the areas where we live safe, friendly and pleasant places to be. It facilitates free Public Liability insurance to all recognised member associations, window stickers for all members, promotes best practice through its website www.ourwatch.org.uk, and issues free regular newsletters to any individual who wishes to subscribe.