“Since the 1998 Crime and Disorder (Section 17) Act, all Statutory Organisations including Parish Councils have a duty to assist in the Reduction of Crime”.
Home Watch involves residents coming together to create safer communities in which to live. It operates through a network of district associations and schemes that:
- are run by residents and are supported by the police
- are set up using guidelines approved by Norfolk Constabulary
- are maintained by a coordinator and sometimes a small committee who manage the scheme and liaise with police and partners
- take steps to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.
Objectives of Home Watch
Home Watch in Norfolk has four main objectives:
- To prevent crime by improving security, being the ‘eyes and ears’ of your neighbourhood and protecting the most vulnerable members of the community.
- To help with the detection of criminals by sharing information with the police allowing them to be intelligence-led.
- To reduce undue fear of crime by providing accurate information about risks, supporting victims, promoting a sense of security and a caring community.
- To improve Police-Community relations through regular contact between Home Watch and the police.
Safer Neighbourhood Teams
The advent of Safer Neighbourhood Teams throughout Norfolk, afford Home Watch members an opportunity of having a greater input into the direction of local policing within their communities. This can be achieved by attending the regular meetings held by their Safer Neighbourhood Team.
Norfolk Constabulary supplies a ‘Resource Pack’ for the coordinator and a range of crime prevention literature for the members.
In general, however, Home Watch schemes need to be self-funding. There are also likely to be minimal administration costs incurred by the coordinator for telephone calls, postage, stationery, travel, etc.
Funding would also be needed for any project that the scheme undertakes, equipment it purchases and newsletters it produces.
Schemes can raise funds in a variety of ways. Some levy a subscription charge of around £2 per year. Others organise fundraising events.
Most home insurance companies offer a discount for members of Home Watch Scheme.
Thinking of Setting up a scheme?
Two important points needs to be emphasised:
Firstly, it must be realised that setting up a scheme will not in itself prevent crime. Success depends on what follows as a result of the scheme being formed. Home Watch is only worthwhile, if you are prepared to do something to make your neighbourhood safer.
This might involve keeping an eye on your neighbour’s home when it is empty or helping to organise an event to promote awareness of the need for security.
Secondly, although the police provide support and encouragement for Home Watch, they do not run the schemes. Community initiatives are organised and run by local people.
The success of Home Watch depends on the interest and involvement of its members. The requirement is that a sufficient number of local residents are in favour of starting a scheme.
If you live in Saxlingham and would like to discuss Home Watch; please call Peter Barnes on 01508 498126 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Setting up a scheme
If you would like to set up a scheme or would like more information on the role of Home Watch Co-coordinator, please contact the Communications & Public Affairs department at Norfolk Constabulary on 01953 425 555 or e-mail email@example.com
At the present moment there are only two Police-approved Home Watch schemes in Saxlingham, these are Steward Close and Pitts Hill.
The South Norfolk weekly crime summary and other information supplied by the police is forwarded to this website, when received by the existing Home Watch schemes and/or Saxlingham Parish Council.
(Steward Close Home Watch Co-coordinator)