What is the purpose of Neighbourhood Watch?
The purpose of Neighbourhood Watch is to help cut crime and the opportunity for crime and anti-social behaviour through encouraging neighbourliness and closer communities in order to improve the quality of life for local residents and tenants.
Neighbourhood Watch is a community activity where groups of like-minded neighbours, who want to live in a caring and protected society, get together in partnership with the Police to help each other to reduce crime and improve community safety in the area where they live. It is NOT a group of vigilantes. It promotes community cohesion, improves awareness of crime prevention and creates clear lines of communication to and from the Police.
What are the benefits of becoming a member of Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch?
- Neighbourhood Watch is a proven deterrent to reduce crime and the fear of crime.
- A Watch member is nearly four times less likely to be a victim of a crime than a non-member.
- Statistics show that Surrey Heath has ‘Watch’ coverage of approximately 31% of the properties and yet only just over 5% of crimes have been committed in ‘Watch’ areas since July 1994 (the date from which this particular data has been recorded).
- A Watch scheme, as a body, can make very meaningful contributions towards a safer environment. Vandalism, graffiti and yobbish behaviour, the unsatisfactory lighting of streets, footpaths, car parking areas etc. illustrate some of the problems that can be overcome or controlled, or at least improved, by responsible residents taking the correct action with the appropriate authorities.
Home insurance discounts may be available if you are a member of an active Watch. Check with your insurance company.
What are the obligations of being a member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme?
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.
Is my area covered by a Watch?
Normally Watches are set up to cover all or part of a road. In some areas these may include adjacent roads. Neighbourhood Watch signs will be sited on lamp posts to indicate an active Watch is in operation. A full list of watches is provided on this web site. Click to see the list of Watches and which streets they cover. The Six Villages are: Bagshot, Bisley, Chobham, Lightwater, West End and Windlesham.
How do I join My Local Watch?
Each Watch has a Watch Coordinator. If you have been contacted by the Watch Coordinator they will ask you to complete a simple registration form. This will enable them to contact you and keep you informed of activities in the area.
How much does it cost?
There are no charges in joining the Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
The initial issue of Neighbourhood Watch street signs is free but as funds are limited, these are limited to a maximum of two signs per Watch (only one for cul-de-sacs) but you may decide that the Watch would be willing to pay for an extra sign or signs.
There is no Watch covering my area, how do I set one up?
- The Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch Support Group will assist you to form a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your street or group of houses.
- Initially contact one of the Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch Area Coordinators for advice and together plan the next steps.
- Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch has established a formal process of setting up and registering individual Watches. These notes give an overview of the process. The full process together with the required documentation is available on the Web site to authorised users only.
- Watches not set up following this process will NOT be registered as a valid Neighbourhood Watch.
- Assuming you are willing to take on the role of Watch Coordinator you will be asked to contact your neighbours and if you have sufficient interest, the Area Coordinator will start the registration process with you. This is described briefly below.
- The next step is to arrange a Kick-off meeting with the interested neighbours. This meeting will be attended by the Area Coordinator and also provide an opportunity to meet your local Policing Community Support Officer (PCSO).
- Neighbours will be asked to “sign-up”. This will be to provide the Watch Coordinator with contact details, names addresses and, where possible, email addresses. This will enable the Watch Coordinator to send out communications and information from both the Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch and Surrey Police. This list of contact details is the responsibility of the Watch Coordinator and is not made available to anyone else, apart from their deputy.
- Neighbours wishing to join the scheme will be provided with appropriate leaflets and window stickers promoting Neighbourhood Watch etc.
- The Watch Coordinator will be asked to complete an Active Citizen form. This gives Surrey Police your permission to hold your contact details on file and to use them to send you relevant information on crime reports and crime prevention etc.
- It is strongly recommended that one of the neighbours volunteers to become the Watch Coordinator’s deputy. This is to assist in both promoting Neighbourhood Watch and to provide holiday cover etc.
- Once completed, the Watch is set up, street signs to be erected to show that your area is part of the Neighbourhood Watch organisation.