What is Neighbourhood Watch?

What is neighbourhood watch header

Neighbourhood Watch is the largest crime prevention voluntary organisation in the UK. It originated in the USA and was adopted in the North West of England in 1982. We currently have 173,000 Coordinators covering 3.8 million households. The “Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network” is the umbrella body for the movement in England and Wales. Members are 1 in 4 times less likely to be victims of crime. There are numerous wider “Watch” schemes in operation, including Rural Watch, Boat Watch, Dog Watch, Shop Watch and Pub Watch.

Our key priorities are:

  1. To limit the opportunity for crime and antisocial behaviours to occur through increased awareness and adoption of effective crime prevention measures, timely reporting of suspicious activities and identification and protection against current, new and emerging threats.
  2. To improve active citizenship, community safety and resilience through increased community participation, social action, neighbourliness and partnership working.
  3. To influence national policy and strategic response, to ensure that the movement has access to the support and resources required to deliver a shared vision for the future.

Neighbourhood Watch logo

The very first Neighbourhood Watch in the World was set up in the Borough of Queens, New York, on 13th March 1974 following the tragic murder of Kitty Genovese. The first Neighbourhood Watch in the UK was set up in July, 1982 in the village of Mollington, Cheshire following a spate of crime in the community. The success of Neighbourhood Watch quickly spread and is now widely established across the UK.

Some of the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch are:

  • Improving the safety of communities
  • Developing community spirit
  • Promoting cooperation between the police and the community
  • Helping the police detect crime through improved communications and reporting suspicious and criminal activity quickly
  • Encouraging people to watch out for possible problems
  • Providing a visible sign that members of a community are looking out for each other

By Bill Farnham
Chairman of Neighbourhood Watch Association Cardiff

If you’re interested in setting up a watch, Bill would love to hear from you.

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1 thought on “What is Neighbourhood Watch?

  1. There is definitely a need in Ton. Another break-in this time in Grants Close. Most seem to be opportunists with easy access to M4. Interested in this scheme.

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