Being a member of Neighbourhood Watch means being a good neighbour and caring about the local area. It needn’t cost anything, except a little common sense and being aware. It doesn’t mean interfering in other people’s business; just your neighbours looking out for you, your family, your home and your street or estate, and you doing the same for them.
In undertaking to give whatever support they can to help Neighbourhood Watch achieve its objectives, all members do whatever they can to make their neighbourhood safer and more secure as well as giving support and help as they are able to the local coordinator.
Some people assume that just because they live in a “Neighbourhood Watch Area” they are “automatically” members, unfortunately this is not the case.
Being a member of Neighbourhood Watch means being a good neighbour and caring about the local area.
- Members do whatever they can to make their neighbourhood safer and more secure as well as giving support and help as they are able to the local coordinator.
- Members look out for their neighbours, and their neighbour’s homes.
- Members look out for anything that seems suspicious or unusual and report it to the police. Some things may help the police solve or prevent a crime – and so stop someone becoming a victim. So, if members are suspicious about something, they will make a note of who and what they have seen and pass the information to the police.
Coordinators are vital to the operation of Neighbourhood Watch and every street needs Coordinators.
Because our aim is to help people to protect themselves and their properties, to reduce the fear of crime and to promote community spirit and neighbourliness, this is best provided through our network of Coordinators. Our Coordinators understand the needs of their neighbours and are aware of what happens in their streets and are the backbone of Neighbourhood Watch.
Street Coordinators (SC’s) are members willing to act as a Point of Contact, who can be approached for information or assistance by the Neighbourhood Watch Ward Coordinator (WC) or the police Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT).
In representing the interests of their neighbours they can raise concerns/issues with the WC or SNT as appropriate.
- As with all members, SC’s look out for anything that seems suspicious or unusual and report it to the police.
- SC’s also forward any reports they receive to the WC and SNT, checking if they have been reported to the police on 999 or 101 if appropriate.
SC’s may also undertake some or all of the following – the choice is theirs:
- Keep in regular contact with the Ward Coordinator and the ward Safer Neighbourhoods Police Team, keeping them informed of any issues or concerns about the street.
- Let neighbours know of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme. how to get in contact and if appropriate invite them to become a member.
- Give crime prevention literature to neighbours.
- Encourage neighbours to be observant at all times and report anything suspicious to the police.
- Encourage neighbours to protect themselves and their properties by being aware of and putting into practice crime prevention measures, such as property marking and security.
- Identify and keep an eye on any vulnerable neighbours and report any concerns if the support they are being given appears to be inadequate.
- Occasionally deliver newsletters to members and or residents as appropriate.
- Attend the occasional Neighbourhood Watch meeting.
Although they may undertake other tasks, the primary purpose of Ward Coordinators (WC’s) as part of the Association Committee is to represent the interests of their members and to raise concerns/issues on their behalf.
Therefore, on behalf of their members, to work with Committee members and Officers to achieve the wider objectives of NHW and to encourage the association to grow and strengthen so that it remains relevant and at the heart of our community.
As the Neighbourhood Watch ward lead, the WC coordinates all NHW activities in the ward, working with the police, councillors, residents’ groups, Area and Street Coordinators.
The position of WC provides structure and cohesion to the association.
In helping Sutton Neighbourhood Watch achieve its objectives, simply put, the WC’s responsibilities are:
- to help reduce the incidence and opportunity for crime by encouraging residents to improve security, increase vigilance, and help create and foster a caring community.
- to increase crime prevention awareness within their respective Ward.
- to help the police to detect crime by promoting effective communication and the prompt reporting of suspicious and criminal activity.
- to help improve police/community liaison by encouraging/facilitating effective communication via email, local reporting and regular meetings.
- to act as a full committee member of the Association, supporting the overall objectives of the Association and working with officers on the committee to strive to achieve them as far as possible.
Whilst WC’s have a primary responsibility to our members, they also care for all residents of their ward in encouraging the prevention of crime and anti social behaviour.
In caring for the Ward, WC’s need to be familiar with the areas and roads within the ward and the needs of the residents in those areas with regard to preventing crime and anti social behaviour.
Area Coordinators are appointed to work as part of a team with the Ward Coordinator giving a more comprehensive coverage of the ward. Their specific responsibilities, which are determined upon appointment, may vary. They may work as part of a committee and/or they may look after part of the ward on behalf of the Ward Coordinator, e.g. a section of the ward, an estate or residents’ association etc.
Associate Membership is for people who are not residents but who live close to Sutton or who have strong links and want to contribute and/or be kept informed. Whilst Associate Members can participate in most activities of the Association they do not have voting rights.
The Association Committee
Our Association is managed by a committee of Officers, Committee Members and the Ward Coordinators. The Officers and Committee Members are elected into office at AGM’s of the Association. As part of the checks and balances within the Association governance and accountability, all members of the Committee have equal voting rights.
On behalf of the general membership and in furtherance of the Associations’ objectives, committee members will undertake specific tasks, roles and responsibilities and assist the officers of the association in the performance of their duties, such as:
- Act as ambassadors for SNHW, promoting its values and role in the community.
- Act as the representative of the Association within other organisations.
- Act as the eyes and ears identifying opportunities for improvement.
- Undertake initiatives and research ways of achieving the needs of the Association.
- Undertake specific tasks on behalf of the Committee.
- Identify opportunities for increasing revenue or obtaining resources.
- Support activities by the Association within the community.
N.B. It is not necessary to be a Committee member to assist at events or to undertake other occasional tasks for the Association.
Panel of Advisors
A Panel of Advisors has been established of specialists in various fields to assist the Association. Advisors need not be Sutton residents. Members of the Panel, whilst not having the responsibilities of Committee Members, are kept informed of the business of the Association and may attend Committee meetings. They are occasionally asked for advice and may offer assistance if appropriate.