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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

National Neighbourhood Watch Week

Neighbourhood Watch Week

This week we are marking National Neighbourhood Watch Week (8th– 15th June).  

​Since lockdown began, we’ve seen a surge in community togetherness as people look out for the vulnerable and talk to neighbours more than ever before – a silver lining to what is an extremely challenging time for many people.

We’re encouraging community-spirited residents to continue helping their local area by signing up to Neighbourhood Watch. Being part of a scheme shows your community is looking out for each other, it keeps you up to date with what’s going on in your area and can help prevent and tackle crime.

We have 5,362 Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators in Avon and Somerset serving 123,557 Households and have shared nearly half a million messages to their communities in the last year alone. These independent groups report crime and help tackle important issues that affect community safety and security.​ They receive up-to-date information and engage with local police teams. They also support in the detection and reduction of new and emerging crimes which cause significant harm to victims and communities such as county lines drug dealing, modern slavery, fraud & scams and serious violence.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen, Head of Neighbourhood Policing said:Neighbourhood Watch plays a vital role in helping to create safer and stronger communities which are more resilient to crime. Volunteers provide an invaluable support network for local policing, and the benefits of this united approach to tackling local issues cannot be underestimated. We’re committed to maintaining excellent relationships and empowering Neighbourhood Watch to proactively support their community and officers.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Neighbourhood Watch plays an important role in keeping our communities safe and reducing crime. The volunteers offer vital support to local policing and I have the utmost admiration for what the volunteers do to tackle local issues and maintain community safety. I would like to say a massive thank you for your support.”

Dr. Egils Praulitis, Acting Chair of Avon and Somerset Watch said: “Despite the current restrictions, we have been working with the police’s Rural Affairs Unit to provide support for Farm Watch and Horse Watch – alongside our existing Neighbourhood Watch commitments and representation of NW on the national NWN body.

“Bringing Watches closer together makes a lot of sense, as it not only strengthens crime prevention, it also raises public awareness, and reflects the approach already adopted in other police regions. Neighbourhood Watch, Farm Watch and Horse Watch are the major ‘Watches’ within Avon and Somerset. However, we do need to engage and open access more broadly to communities and organisations for whom the traditional and existing ‘Watches’ are not appropriate. So I’m pleased to announce that we are launching COMMUNITY WATCH and KEEP SAFE schemes for ‘communities’ and ‘commerce’ respectively. 

“Take a look at our website and see what’s new!”

Be Kind, Connect, Support and Share

Nationally, Neighbourhood Watch has been encouraging people to ‘Be Kind, Connect, Support and Share’ during these challenging times. They’ve worked with popular British cartoonist, Tony Husband, to create bespoke cartoons to show just how important our neighbours are at this time. Tony’s cartoons can be downloaded as posters to display in windows, or postcards to pop through a neighbour’s door. Those feeling creative can draw their own cartoon and enter it in a competition to be judged by Tony himself.

You can find out more about the scheme and download the posters and postcards here https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/letsstayconnected  

For more information about Neighbourhood Watch and how to join visit https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/services/watch-community-schemes/neighbourhood-watch-scheme/