New Neighbourhood Watch programme aims to bring people together

Neighbourhood Watch is introducing a new programme aimed at encouraging all communities to be more active in crime prevention, reducing social isolation and making people feel safer and more connected in their neighbourhoods.

The acceleration programme is working with police forces in five areas to bring people together who have not seen the value in setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Neighbourhood watch. SUS-180703-235836008

Neighbourhood watch. SUS-180703-235836008

It is part of the Neighbourhood Watch Network’s plan to deliver on its three-year strategy to diversify and extend its offer across England and Wales.

The network wants to highlight good practice in Neighbourhood Watch schemes nationwide, with the acceleration programme focusing on one area at a time.

Each of the areas has a different focus, because communities vary hugely, so it is important to look at local needs and be creative in meeting them.

For example, one community has an issue with persistent organised crime, so 21 community and voluntary groups are starting to run a Neighbourhood Watch scheme to tackle the problem.

|Also in the news - a clamped motorist in Worthing appears to have taken drastic action to escape a driving fine; a gang wearing balaclavas stabbed two people in a house in Littlehampton, and are still at large; and police raided a Worthing home as the force continues its efforts to fight drug crime|

Students are severely under-represented within Neighbourhood Watch, whose membership is typically much older. So two acceleration programmes in Leeds and Greater Manchester, which have between them more than 170,000 students, are investigating how best to engage them, with the use of new technology in place of physical meetings and committee structures under discussion.

Robin Newman, head of membership and community engagement, said the acceleration programme is already making the Neighbourhood Watch more relevant as well as paving the way for a greater take up of schemes.

Robin said: “The information we gather from these programmes will assist us greatly as we continue to reach out to the rest of England and Wales.”

The East Worthing Neighbourhood Panel meets Tuesday at East Worthing Community Centre at 6.30pm.

• For more information about the Worthing & Adur Neighbourhood Watch Associations click here.

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