Hucknall Neighbourhood Watch Schemes do not currently have their own umbrella group or committee, however, they do have the above Alert Committee who manage this web site and the registered Alert membership on behalf of the Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in the Ashfield South area.
The committee is made up of several Volunteer Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators, the Police Commander for the Ashfield South area, a Police liaison officer representing the Beat Teams, and a representative from Nottinghamshire County Council.
The Alert Committee can be contacted by visiting the Front desk at Hucknall Police Station, or by telephoning them on 101 ext 804 4716 and leaving a message.
If you are not currently a member of Neighbourhood Watch and would like to know more about what we do or what is involved, than please continue reading. If you would like to start a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in your neighbourhood, then please contact your local Police Beat Officer on 101 ext 804 4716.
What is Neighbourhood Watch?
The Neighbourhood Watch organisation is the largest community-based voluntary charity in the UK. It has more than 10 million members, split into some 15,000 groups throughout the UK.
Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) brings together communities, the police and their partner agencies in a partnership to help combat crime. Contrary to popular belief Neighbourhood Watch Schemes are not run by the Police, however, Nottinghamshire Police work closely with members of these schemes by providing them with up to date crime information for their area, crime prevention literature and security kits.
Members of Neighbourhood Watch schemes across Nottinghamshire regularly provide the police with useful information about crimes and suspicious activity they have witnessed near their homes.
What are the Benefits of joining Neighbourhood Watch?
Although belonging to a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme does not guarantee that your area is crime-free, criminals are deterred from committing crimes on areas where they know there is an active Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and people could be watching. Publicising that there is a Neighbourhood Watch scheme operating in your area with Neighbourhood Watch street signs and door stickers can make thieves think twice before targeting you or your neighbour’s property.
Having a Scheme can help reduce fear of crime. Residents living in Neighbourhood Watch areas feel safer knowing their neighbours are keeping an eye out for them and their property. This can be particularly reassuring when it comes to leaving a property vacant when on holiday.
Being part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme allows the police to keep you informed of any local trends in crime that may affect you. This extra knowledge will allow you to take immediate action to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of any criminal targeting your area.
Members of Neighbourhood Watch schemes can often take advantage of reduced prices on security-related items, such as shed/window alarms or personal attack alarms. In some cases, you may even be entitled to a reduction in the cost of your household insurance.
Getting involved in a Neighbourhood Watch scheme enables you to make a positive contribution towards crime prevention. It provides you with a way to report crimes and share details of any suspicious activity with your neighbours and the police.
Please note: Registering to receive Neighbourhood Alert messages does not mean you are a registered Neighbourhood Watch member. If you are already registered with Neighbourhood Alert and have not joined the Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your area, please let us know and we will make the necessary arrangements for you.
Interested, but what does this involve?
Individual schemes all have different characteristics, depending on the area in which they are situated and their objectives. However, most schemes have some things in common.
- Schemes are set up with the co-operation of individual police divisions.
- Schemes are run by their members through a volunteer Lead co-ordinator and supported by the police and in many cases by a local Neighbourhood Watch Association.
- Schemes vary in size from a few properties in sparsely populated areas to many properties on a road or an estate.
- The volunteer Lead co-ordinator, who is a resident of the area, co-ordinates the scheme and liaises with the police. The co-ordinator acts as the voice for that community.
- All Neighbourhood Watch members take steps to prevent crime, improve safety and reduce the fear of crime.
- Scheme members receive information and messages from the police, their local association or local authority. This vital communication link helps to motivate members and keep schemes alive.
Each scheme is a community initiative, which is supported by the police but not run by them. Success depends on what members make of a scheme, but Neighbourhood Watch gives people the chance to get to know and help each other better, particularly the more vulnerable.
Role of the Volunteer Lead Co-ordinator
As the Lead Co-ordinator of a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, you are the leader and manager of your Scheme and it will be your role to make sure that a structure is in place that will keep the Watch active.
A Lead Co-ordinator is someone who is willing to be the contact person for the Watch, to be the link between the residents and the Police and other agencies. A sound method of passing information to members of the Watch is essential. It is no use Co-ordinators receiving information over the Alert system if it is not passed out to members without internet messaging facilities, or if information from members is not passed onto the Police.
When deciding which type of communication system is best suited to your Watch, always ask the question - would this work if the message had to be with every member within 24 hours? There are a number of ways information can be distributed:
- All members are registered on the Neighbourhood Alert (Hucknall Community Neighbourhood Alert) messaging system so that every member receives the information at the earliest opportunity. This is the preferred option.
2. By word of mouth, useful for elderly or vulnerable members.
- A note through the door
- By telephone
- By personal email
- Pinned to a Notice Board
It is important to note that, by all the scheme members registering onto the Alert system, the Lead Co-ordinator has the facility to send out their own messages to their members or send them a newsletter via the Alert system.
An important task for the Lead Co-ordinator will be to ensure that information is passed back to the Police or other Agencies regarding incidents occurring in your area. This can be made in several ways, including the use of the Alert system.
Lead co-ordinators and Deputies are invited to attend local NHW meetings to meet other co-ordinators, the local Police, and representatives of other Agencies. Various training sessions are also available that are run by NottsWatch with the Police leading the sessions.
Finally Co-ordinators can call upon the local Neighbourhood Alert team based at Hucknall Police Station, for help and advice on Neighbourhood Watch matters. They are there to help you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything you are not sure about.
The role of a Deputy Co-ordinator.
The Deputy Co-ordinator supports the Lead Co-ordinator and can take over from them when they are absent for any period of time e.g. on holiday, and will take over the running of the Watch should the Lead Co-ordinator leave e.g. moves away from the area.
Responsibilities of members.
A Watch will not be successful, no matter how dedicated its Lead co-ordinator may be, if the members are not prepared to do their bit. It is suggested that ALL members should participate by doing the following:
- Protecting their property by improving the level of security
- Security marking their property - Postcode property by using a UV pen, or use Smart Water.
- Inform a neighbour when you are going away so they can keep an eye out for suspicious callers, making sure mail is not left in letter-boxes etc.
- Report suspicious incidents – If you have reason to suspect intruders are in a property or a crime is being committed, contact the Police on 999 immediately. Ensure you inform your Lead Co-ordinator about this or any other suspicious incidents.
- If you have a burglar alarm fitted, give your Lead Co-ordinator contact details for the key holder.
- If a house or car alarm is activated, look out for signs of criminal activity, being careful for your own safety. If you suspect a crime is in progress, dial 999 immediately.
- Keep an eye on your neighbouring properties for any unusual vehicles or visitors. They may be innocent, but better safe than sorry. Report anything suspicious immediately.
- Ensure messages from your Lead Co-ordinator or Neighbourhood Alert are read. They are intended to make your life safer.
NB Always report any suspicious incidents, criminal activity or anti-social behaviour. It does not matter how small or trivial you may think the information is, as the smallest detail may be the one link the police are looking for in their investigations to solve a crime. Please contact your Co-ordinator if you are not sure who to speak to.
How do I start a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme?
Speak with your neighbours to get their support, and once agreed, just contact Hucknall Police Station on 101 ext 804 4716, and we will be in touch to take you through the process.