Generally, though, people in a Neighbourhood Watch:
- Care about and have pride in their neighbourhood.
- Are aware of how to stay safe in a variety of situations.
- Know who to contact for assistance or advice on safety issues.
- Where possible, assist people who are less able to look after themselves.
- Help to raise awareness of safety issues and alerts locally.
- Report information to relevant agencies (e.g. police, local authority etc.)
- Are welcoming and inclusive of all members of the neighbourhood.
That’s why we encourage Neighbourhood Watch members to talk to each other and share information. It’s by raising awareness of scams and other trends that we can help people to stay safe in their communities, and help prevent people falling victim to crime.
Neighbourhood Watches receive safety and security alerts relevant to their locality and their interests. We use the Neighbourhood Alert system to communicate with communities, which allows people to choose what they hear about, who they hear from and how they hear. We can send texts, e-mails and even voice messages to a house phone.
At Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, we’re always encouraging partner agencies like Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service to engage with Neighbourhood Watches. We can do this through our Alert system and we’re trying it out in a few different ways.
Safer Rutherglen is a joint initiative between Neighbourhood Watch, Police, Fire and South Lanarkshire Council where all agencies have the ability to send messages through the system. Messages are very local and very relevant and can be sent nstantaneously. People are responding well to the alerts so far and now we’re looking to build on this by increasing the number of people we can reach in Rutherglen.
Scottish Borders Alert is a resilience project headed up by Scottish Borders Council, incorporating Police, Fire and NHS. The project is supported by the Scottish Government and aims to communicate with established Resilient Communities during times of bad weather and other emergency incidents.
Rail Watch Scotland is a project aimed at people who use trains and people who live around railways lines. British Transport Police and Network Rail have teamed up with Neighbourhood Watch Scotland to provide alerts relevant to these groups and this will be officially launched in June 2014.
In addition to these projects, we’re also looking at a national approach to Farm and Rural Watch through Alert, and our partners at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre are using the system too.
In a recent survey, people told us that the main reason they’re not part of a Neighbourhood Watch is that there isn’t one in their area. More than three quarters of people would think about joining a group if there was one near them.