The week commencing 17th June was Neighbourhood Watch week.
It was a reason to look at the great work done to protect communities by the Neighbourhood teams across the country.
You’ll find Neighbourhood Watch online at www.ourwatch.org.uk
They claim to be the largest crime prevention movement in England and Wales with 2.3 million member households and their mission is to bring neighbours together to create strong, friendly, active communities where crime and anti-social behaviour are less likely to happen.
There are numerous examples on their website of the great work being done, such as the one below.
There was a disused lay-by that had attracted drug dealing and fly-tipping and the idea was to turn it into a pocket park. At the same time, a campaign was in progress to turn a disused shop front into a Window Gallery. The two projects were to help create a more vibrant, safe and connected community.
The team kept pressure on the local council by emailing and holding regular meetings with various councillors and community groups. They attended ward panel meetings with police, councillors and other groups locally in the belief that if they kept the pressure on they could eventually effect change.
It took six years for the pocket park and 18 months for the Window Gallery.
They took pictures regularly of the degradation and vandalism and shared these with the council. Every time a crime occurred in the lay-by they ensured it was reported and reported any fly tipping etc.
They created social media groups to keep momentum and team spirits up.
The council funded the creation of the pocket park with agreements from residents to lightly maintain it – picking litter, weeding and watering it regularly.
For the gallery, they applied for funding and approached local businesses. They gained funding from several streams including the heritage lottery fund, the St James Big Local community group and a local estate agent.
Well done the local Neighbourhood Watch team of volunteers.
If you have any experiences with Neighbourhood Watch do let me know, by email.