Neighbourhood Watch is a community led initiative to bring local people together to address crime and other community safety issues. Neighbourhood Watch groups often liaise with the local police, the local authority and other agencies. The concept originated in the United States and was introduced into the UK in the 1980s.
Behind it lies a very simple idea; Working together can help to improve your community. Neighbourhood Watches can be large, covering most of the households on an estate, or they might involve just a few houses. They may meet frequently, or keep in touch via e-mail or social media. There really is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to Neighbourhood Watch. Neighbourhood Watch adapts to fit the community it serves. Quite simply it’s “Your Watch, Your Way”
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) are close partners and valued supporters of Neighbourhood Watch Scotland (NWS). For a number of years NWS and SEPA have worked together to improve their community engagement processes allowing SEPA to better connect with local communities regarding flooding awareness and preparedness.
It is relatively easy to start up a neighbourhood watch group and we know that they can be very effective at dealing with local issues such as crime, however the real challenge is sustaining the group after it has achieved its initial objectives. Beith Orr Park Neighbourhood Watch is a shining example of ‘your watch, your way’ and what can be achieved when communities work collectively.