Being rooted within communities, Neighbourhood Watch is well-connected to both community members and local organisations, placing them in a unique position to be effective in not only crime prevention but also at the forefront of supporting neighbours through a crisis.
THE GRASSROOTS VOLUNTEER-LED CHARITY SAYS PEOPLE LIVING IN A NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH AREA ARE MORE LIKELY TO FEEL PART OF A CLOSE-KNIT COMMUNITY
Analysis of the Neighbourhood Watch Crime and Community Survey 2020, which received over 30,000 respondents across England and Wales, showed that Neighbourhood Watch members are more likely to feel part of the neighbourhood than non-members (87% vs 75%) and they are much more likely to agree that they feel part of the neighbourhood (47% vs 29%).
Further analysis shows that Neighbourhood Watch members are more likely than non-members to say where they live is friendly (85% vs 73%), that they can trust fellow neighbours (76% vs 55%), are part of a close-knit community (60% vs 42%) and that neighbours look after each other (75% vs 55%). Needless to say, the need for all of us to feel supported in our community is vitally important right now.
Every community has within it unique skills and assets. In these changing times, Neighbourhood Watch’s strength is in helping people build on and maximise their strengths to reach their community’s full potential. The charity focuses on supporting place-based, people-powered solutions to local community concerns – whether that be to prevent burglaries and car crime, connect the isolated and build cohesion, or to respond to local crises such as floods or the current pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, amazing people from the 90,000 strong pool of Neighbourhood Watch volunteers have been active community organisers, supporting those most in need 5. From crowdfunding for 3D printers to make PPE visors for care workers, to supporting residents with their shopping and medical needs, Neighbourhood Watch volunteers have been there since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.
John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network, says “We are immensely proud of all our Neighbourhood Watch volunteers who have done acts big and small to support their neighbours – the difference they make is evident in our research. While there is light at the end of the tunnel, we all need to keep this going as the Covid risks are so high.”
John continues, “Economic impacts, isolation and mental health concerns are all increasing, and we know our volunteers can play a role in helping to address this at a hyper-local level. Every single one of us has a neighbour and every single one of us needs support or can in some way support our neighbours, now and in the future. Whether that be by sharing crime prevention advice, delivering supplies, waving through the window or something bigger, we urge everyone to step forward as much as they can.”
The grassroots volunteer-led charity is seen as a highly trusted organisation. The survey revealed that Neighbourhood Watch groups are an effective means of distributing information about local crime and crime prevention advice, with both members and non-members likely to act on their crime prevention advice (91% of members and 83% of non-members).
It goes on to show a clear link between Neighbourhood Watch and the perception that crime has reduced, with members feeling safer, more included, more involved and happier with their area compared to non-members.
Furthermore, those who live in a Neighbourhood Watch Area are more likely to be satisfied or very satisfied with their personal safety than those who don’t (59% vs 45%), with members of Neighbourhood Watch in those areas even more likely to be satisfied or very satisfied with their personal safety (63%).
Those living in a Neighbourhood Watch area are less likely to say that crime has increased than those who don’t live in a Neighbourhood Watch area (32% vs 43%), with Neighbourhood Watch members in those areas even less likely to think that crime has increased (28%), and significantly more likely to think crime has decreased or remained stable (62% vs 42%).
Neighbourhood Watch supports individuals and groups to create safer, active and connected communities. Visit www.ourwatch.org.uk to get involved in a community project or join a Neighbourhood Watch group in your area.