This week, June 7th to 13th, is Neighbourhood Watch Week, celebrating a self-help scheme which is now almost 40 years old and still going strong.
Although Neighbourhood Watch was started out as a crime prevention scheme, and still has a strong focus on that element, it has grown into something much bigger. It is about building and supporting stronger and more active neighbourhoods and communities and helping people feel more connected and less vulnerable in the place where they live.
One of the few positive things about the coronavirus pandemic is that it brought about a surge in neighbourliness, with people looking out for the vulnerable in their communities and getting to know their neighbours a little better as they spend more time at home. Neighbourhood Watch Week 2020 is celebrating this rediscovered neighbourliness and urging people to stay connected with their neighbourhoods as the crisis begins to ease.
Neighbourhood Watch today is a charitable grassroots movement, with local schemes throughout England and Wales, each run by groups of volunteers. They help neighbours work together to build safer, vibrant and inclusive communities in a variety of ways.
Active crime prevention is still a central theme, and by working closely with the police in their area, Neighbourhood Watch schemes continue to build safer communities with a good quality of life. News reports are often dominated by the disruptive and destructive elements of society, but it’s important to remember that these people are in the minority. When the majority band together and stand up to them, letting them know they won’t be tolerated in a particular neighbourhood or community, then positive things start to happen.
To find out more about Neighbourhood Watch, including a range of activities and ‘virtual events’ happening during Neighbourhood Watch Week, click here. You can also find your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme and start getting actively involved in making your community a better, safer and more neighbourly place to live.