THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH ASSOCIATION
Neighbourhood Watch has operated in Wiltshire for many years and covers more per head of population than almost any NHW in the country. So why do we now need a County Association to manage NHW? Hasn't it worked well enough in the past?
The simple answer to that could be 'Yes' in that it is alive and well in many areas, but it could also be 'No' in that the level of co-ordination, dissemination of information and general effectiveness could be greatly improved, and in many areas NHW is, at best, dormant.
The County Association was set up to encourage and co-ordinate NHW activities across the County, to develop more effective channels of communication within NHW and with the Police, to share best practices in the search to reduce crime and the fear of crime, to help manage the various NHW Schemes across Wiltshire and the Borough of Swindon and to establish funds for appropriate NHW activities.
Ideally their role is to:-
- Provide a properly structured "corporate" body that can enhance the credibility of Neighbourhood Watch throughout the county
- Develop a county-wide Strategic Project and Evaluation Plan and to publish it, and report on progress against that plan
- Negotiate a service level agreement with Wiltshire Police
- Influence relevant Police-wide policy issues and create an environment that fosters good working relationships and practices throughout the County
- Identify county-wide crime problems and initiate an appropriate Neighbourhood Watch response
- Support and co-ordinate national campaigns where appropriate and develop projects that increase effectiveness at the county level
- Support the national efforts for building enterprise opportunities and products and services
- Plan and organise training delivery
- Lead, co-ordinate and promote good local public relations, particularly with the regional media and public services
- Become a company limited by guarantee (if required) and act as the registered umbrella organisation for county-wide charitable purposes
- Initiate county-wide funding application
- Act as the county accountable body with regard to finance, indemnity insurance, assets and investments
- Monitor, audit and regulate standards within Neighbourhood Watch
- Initiate and manage county-wide conferences and events
- Elect a National Neighbourhood Watch Association representative for the county to liase with the NNWA
- Develop and maintain the Wiltshire and Swindon NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH website
- Form links with the business community and voluntary organisations where appropriate
For each tier of the Neighbourhood Watch movement to work effectively, each level must be clear as to its role. The strength of Neighbourhood Watch is its ability to respond in local ways to local issues. Each tier must work to support that. By having a structure, Neighbourhood Watch will be more effective, saving time and effort, and providing a more powerful voice for the community.
For more information visit the Wiltshire and Swindon Neighbourhood Watch Association website