Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation for Brighton & Hove

Neighbourhood watch logo
Neighbourhood watch logo

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH - HOW IT WORKS

Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) has been in existence for over 25 years and is the single largest voluntary organisation in the country. It is overseen by the Home Office which liaises with the voluntary side through the National NHW Association and County NHW Federations. Police forces are officially responsible for approving, registering, and supporting all schemes. www.sussexnwfed.org.uk

The Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation have regular meetings at Police HQ in Lewes, and NHW schemes in Sussex are supported by the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Association as well as the local police.

Individual schemes are run by members through a volunteer local Resident Co-ordinator, and schemes can vary in size from just a few neighbours to a whole village. Some areas and villages also have an Area Co-ordinator.

Any resident may join an existing scheme, or may start a new scheme if one does not exist in their immediate vicinity. To start a new scheme, a resident should first contact their Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) at their local Police Station, or Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). The PCSO and Area Co-ordinator will provide advice and assistance in contacting neighbours and setting up a formal ‘Start up’ meeting. Once set up, the new scheme will be recorded by the police and the Area Co-ordinator so that newsletters, police community messages, and other information can be provided.

Neighbourhood Watch relies on the participation of the neighbours who live in the area, whether this be a close, a road, or a block of flats. NHW is a community initiative which is supported by the police, not run by them, so success depends on what the members make of it!

Anonymity is the offenders’ strongest weapon. NHW groups take away that weapon by acting as the eyes and ears of the community, and it has been shown that NHW members are less likely to be targeted by criminals.

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