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Neighbourhood Watch is one of the most popular and successful crime prevention schemes and is built on the simple idea that by getting together with your neighbours, you can take positive action to help cut local crime.
It gives people the opportunity to work in partnership with their neighbours, the police and other agencies and make a real difference to their community.
The schemes can be large or small bringing together whole estates or a few houses. Whatever the size, they all share the same objectives:
- cut crime and the opportunities for crime
- help and reassure those who live in the area
- encourage neighbourliness and bring communities together
As well as looking out for their neighbours, Neighbourhood Watch members can take proactive steps to reduce levels of crime in the area and help reduce the opportunities for criminals to operate. They can also help provide the community with simple crime prevention advice.
Neighbourhood Watch schemes are generally led by a volunteer co-ordinator whose job it is to get members of the community working together and ensure that objectives are achieved. As well as a co-ordinator, most schemes also have a committee who meet regularly to plan which problems to target and what action to take. There are many benefits to setting up or joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme including:
- bringing communities together with everyone sharing a common goal
- helping you feel secure knowing that your neighbours are keeping an eye on your property
- helping you become more familiar with crime prevention ideas that help keep your home and belongings safe
- possible premium discounts from your insurance company
Neighbourhood Watch schemes are community initiatives that are supported by the police but not owned or run by them. Leicestershire Police supports schemes that are organised and run in a non-discriminatory manner.
If you are interested in joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme or setting one up in your area, you can contact the Beacon Officer at your local policing unit on 101.