What are the obligations of being a member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme?

Security

  • Check all door and window locking mechanisms comply with the conditions set by the insurance industry.
  • Stand back from their property and “think thief”: Perimeter and garden/ boundary fences / walls / hedges should deter a would-be intruder. However, tall hedges / shrubs, close to the house, could act as a screen to an intruder. Access to the rear of the property, via side entrances, should be prevented.
  • Consider installing an infrared-activated light effectively exposes an intruder.
  • Ensure all outbuildings (garages, sheds etc.) are properly secured and locked at all times.
  • Where possible, cars should be parked in a garage, rather than left on the drive. If this is not possible, ensure they are suitably secured and alarmed (any or all types). Do not leave valuable on display in the car.
  • Garden and DIY tools and steps / ladders should be locked safely away and, preferably marked with forensic DNA. Interior and property identification
  • Valuables should be security marked, preferably using a forensic DNA material, and serial numbers listed – this aids identification if property is recovered by the police. Jewellery and other small items of value should be photographed and listed.
  • Do not leave keys to the property or car in obvious places to aid a thief.
  • Added security (e.g. a safe, alarm system or security camera) may be required if there are items of high value. A chain and spy hole should be fitted to the main access door and used. Do not allow access, by a caller, to the property unless satisfied with their credentials and purpose.

Going away?

  • Does your property look occupied when you are away?
  • Watch members should let neighbours know that they are not in residence and leave a number where they may be contacted. Cancel newspapers, milk etc. and ask a neighbour to check the property regularly and be extra vigilant.
  • Use the Post Office Keep Safe service to prevent mail piling up in your letter box or inside front-door.
  • Ensure that the property looks occupied. Use automatic timing switches for lights and a radio are a good idea. A neighbour’s car securely parked on the drive would be better than parked on the road.

When and how to contact the police

  • If, a Watch members suspects or sees a crime is about to be committed or they see a person(s) behaving suspiciously, they should report their suspicions to the police immediately, giving as much information as possible (do your best to identify persons and /or vehicles) call : 101
  • If they are witnessing a criminal act taking place or require immediate police presence call 999.
  • Watch members should be as observant as possible from their vantage point but should not put themselves at risk. If they are reluctant to contact the police, they should seek a neighbour’s advice or opinion and / or speak to their Watch Representative – but do so immediately.
  • If a Watch member has good information concerning criminal activity and wishes to report anonymously – call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.They can also contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team by visiting their web page at http://www.surrey.police.uk. The Surrey Heath Crime Reduction Adviser will offer free and independent crime reduction advice if contacted on 101.

Being a good neighbour and caring about your community

Neighbourhood Watch isn’t only about a member’s personal well-being. Good neighbourliness and caring about the neighbourhood and local community is a caring commitment that all should wish or need to make. Taking on specific responsibility for those less able members of their community and helping to reduce the fear of crime that such residents have is another important responsibility of Neighbourhood Watch membership

What is involved if I agree to be the Watch Representative?

  • The primary function is to provide the main link between Surrey Police/Neighbourhood Watch Area Coordinator and the members of their Watch. This involves the following tasks:·
    • Distribute information received by email from these, such as crime updates and security advice, to the Watch members.
    • Attend the quarterly Watch Representatives meetings on behalf of the Watch or arrange for a deputy/other member to attend.
    • Collect the bundle of HeathWatch, the Neighbourhood Watch newsletter, at the Watch Representatives meetings and deliver a copy to your Watch members. If nobody is available to attend the meeting, the Watch Representative should make arrangements for the bundle to be collected from the local library.
    • Advise the Membership Secretary of changes to the Watch registration details e.g. additional members, email address etc.
    • Assist the police and other agencies by circulating information to and gathering information from Watch members as necessary·
    • Receive non-urgent information from members to forward to the police or community safety team.·
    • Feedback concerns from Watch members to the local police at their Panel meetings and, via the Area Coordinator, to the Support Group.
    • Notify the Area Coordinator and local police if planning to leave the area or stand down from the post. Ideally, they should try to identify a replacement.
    • Secondary tasks (as time and inclination permits)
      • Promote Neighbourhood Watch Supply member households with Neighbourhood Watch stickers for doors and windows and other Neighbourhood Watch material. Encourage non-participating households to join the group.
      • Manage the local scheme by keeping an up-to-date list of scheme members, including their e-mail addresses where available, remembering to respect the confidentiality of the information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1984 and welcome new residents and invite them to join the scheme.
      • Encourage measures to enhance security through the adoption of crime prevention measures such as security marking their valuable property using, for example, a UV marker pen.
      • Encourage members to keep their eyes open for unusual occurrences and inform the police quickly of suspicious activity or anti-social behaviour.

Educate members on how to contact the police and Crimestoppers

How do I notify changes to the registration details for my Watch?

Changes in Watch Membership

  • The Watch representative needs to maintain an up to date list of Members and it is the responsibility of each Member to inform their Watch Representative of changes in membership or contact details etc.

Changes in Watch Representation

  • The Watch representative is responsible for keeping the Area Coordinator and the Membership Secretary informed of changes in Watch representation.

Should a Watch representative move away from the area or is no longer interested in their role and they do NOT inform the Area Coordinator or Membership Secretary, they put their watch in danger of being closed

How can I make my Watch more effective?

This can be achieved by any or all of the following:

  • Keep an up to date list of Watch members, including email addresses where available, remembering to keep the data confidential in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1984. A form to record Registered Household members is available for download from this website just for this purpose.
  • Welcome new members to the Watch and encourage them to register their membership. A registration form for each household is also available to authorised users on the web site.
  • When a member has registered provide them with Neighbourhood Watch stickers and leaflets.
  • Disseminate information (either by email or hard copies) to all members of the Watch such as crime updates/reports from Surrey Police, crime reduction literature or Neighbourhood Watch newsletters.
  • Encourage members of the Watch to adopt crime reduction measures such as security marking their valuable property using a UV marker pen or forensic DNA marking fluid.
  • Encourage members to keep their eyes open for unusual occurrences and inform the Police quickly of suspicious activity using 101 or 999 as appropriate.
  • Educate members on the correct use of the 101 and 999 numbers and provide details of the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.
  • Notify your Area Coordinator if you plan to leave the area or are not able to continue in your role and, if possible identify a replacement. Hand over your list of members and their contact details to your replacement or, if no replacement has been found, to the Area Coordinator.
  • Feedback concerns from local Watch members to the local Police. This can be achieved directly to the NSO when attending the quarterly local police Panel Meetings.

How do I obtain additional stickers and leaflets?

Additional stickers and leaflets are available, although these may change from time to time. New members will be provided with these on joining.  If the Watch representative needs additional stickers they should contact their Area Coordinator for details

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