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Communities get more tools to protect against criminals

This money will also be used to provide grants for smaller community groups to improve home security for elderly and vulnerable people in 90 priority areas across the country.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell launched Neighbourhood Watch Week at the headquarters of Leeds Community Action and Support Against Crime which works with Neighbourhood Watch and local police forces to reduce burglary by installing security devices in the homes of burglary victims or those who are at risk of becoming victims.

Campbell said: "Neighbourhood Watch shows what can be achieved when local communities work with the authorities to help people feel safer in their homes. That is why we are backing their work with £1million to help them strengthen their organisation and increase their numbers especially in areas and communities that are most at risk.

"I want to thank the thousands of volunteers who are already working hard to help their neighbours and I am looking forward to seeing that good work expand into even more areas."

The official neighbourhood watch website now includes new pages for every county in the country where each scheme can register their details, share information and co-ordinate events. Each local page also contains a single point of contact for their local police force and a county liaison within the Neighbourhood Watch organisation.

Marion Lewis, Chair of the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, said: "Almost four million households are part of Neighbourhood and Home Watch. Schemes exist in cities, towns, and villages across the country, and we know that many more people who are not members would join a scheme if there was one where they lived.

"We want to see Neighbourhood Watch spread to new places and involve new people and so I welcome the funding the Government has announced to support us in critical capacity building over the next year, around important issues such as training and communication.

"Neighbourhood Watch Week provides us with the opportunity to highlight the benefits of being in a scheme in forming close local networks, and reminds people about the impact they can have on crime reduction and community cohesion when they come together as neighbours."

Some of the measures being looked at to increase NHW membership include establishing a Junior Neighbourhood Watch scheme which gives children information about crime prevention and personal and road safety. 

Virtual Neighbourhood Watch schemes will also be set up on the group’s


to allow people who might not be able to attend regular meetings, such as university students, to join a group online, share localised community safety information and get crime prevention advice.

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