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Neighbourhood Watch can act as your eyes and ears
If you live in a neighbourhood where people are serious about security, then there may already be a neighbourhood watch scheme – and if there isn’t, it’s not too difficult to get one started.
A neighbourhood watch is an organisation of people who live in an area and have agreed to be vigilant about crime. This generally means that they will keep an eye out for anything suspicious, and bring it to the attention of the authorities. Neighbourhood watches are not bands of vigilantes – they do not arrest or accuse people – but are supposed to act as extra ‘eyes and ears’ for the police force, working closely together with them.
You can see whether your area has a neighbourhood watch or not quite easily, as the police will put up ‘this is a neighbour hood watch area’ signs in areas that do, in order to deter criminals. Many people think of it as a bunch of suburbanite housewives with nothing better to do than twitch their curtains, but in fact there are successful neighbourhood watch schemes in some of the most deprived inner-city areas too.
If you want to join a neighbourhood watch, you need to speak to the neighbourhood watch co-ordinator. They will often send a letter to you when you move in, but if they don’t then asking around will usually let you find out quite quickly who they are – they will often be a prominent person in the community. If there is no neighbourhood watch scheme already, then contact your local police, as they will give you all sorts of support to help you found one and drum up membership. However, you should understand that you will be taking on a duty as leader of the watch if you do this, and so you shouldn’t go ahead with it unless you have a reasonable amount of time to devote to it.
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of