What is Neighbourhood Watch?
Neighbourhood Watch (https://www.ourwatch.org.uk ) originated in the US in 1962, with the first group in the UK being set up in 1982. Our aim is to bring neighbours together to create strong, friendly, active communities where crime and anti-social behaviour are less likely to happen.
Our vision is that of a caring society that is focused on trust and respect in which people are safe from crime and enjoy a good quality of life. Neighbourhood Watch is about making sure that fewer people feel afraid, vulnerable or isolated in the place where they live.
We are a voluntary scheme that brings people together to make their communities and residences safer. We involve the police, the local authority, voluntary organisations and most importantly residents. We are organised as a series of Force Area Neighbourhood Watch Associations, which are the key in maintaining the impetus of the Neighbourhood Watch (NW) movement at local level. Their role includes providing guidance and, where necessary, policies on the details of how Neighbourhood Watch operates within their area. This includes things like deciding any processes new schemes need to follow and maintaining a good working relationship with the police at force level.
Although we refer to (Police) Force Area NW Associations, they are run by NW volunteers – not by the police. The term ‘Force Area’ just refers to the same geographical area covered by the police force. It makes sense to have an Association for each force area because this allows for more effective working with the police and for our strategies to be aligned.
Local Neighbourhood Watch
Within our area our local Force Area NW Association is Hounslow Borough NWA (aligned to the Hounslow police force area). This is part of the national NWA. This is run by a committee of volunteers, with a Chairman, Deputy Chairman (Winston Gordon), etc. There are also a number of Executive Committee Members, one for each ward in Hounslow, who lead the NW in their ward. The Lead for the NW in the Osterley & Spring Grove ward (our area) is Mo Kassem.
NW are well established and growing across Hounslow. The number of NWs in the borough as a whole has grown from under a 100 in the late 1990s to almost 500 today. Watches can make a real difference to the local community in terms of safety and security. Much encouragement and assistance is provided by our Local Safer Neighbourhood Police Team and the NW team work closely with them.
What do we do
We act as the contact point between you and the local police. Residents may report non-emergency matters to the designated Coordinator who will also be available to answer any queries. We also liaise with the Police to ensure they are aware of what is happening locally and provide crime prevention advice and crime updates to local residents (e.g. via local WhatsApp groups).
In addition we proactively work with the Police and other agencies (such as LBH) to try and reduce crime and Anti-Social Behaviour locally. An example of this is Jersey Gardens. This much-valued local park had been attracting a lot of undesirable behaviour late in the evening because it was not patrolled and not locked in the evenings, with drug-dealing becoming well established there and other problems. Overall it was not at all welcoming to be near it after dark. We have established a regime of locking the park in the evening, and the police, based on information received, have organised targeted raids focused on drug-dealing and other undesirable behaviour. As a result on the park much of these problems in the park have now stopped.
Another initiative we are promoting (see elsewhere on this website) is to install CCTV and ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras across streets and other public areas in the OWGRA area to target criminal activity in the area.
How do I join
It costs nothing to join and there is no requirement other than to keep your ears and eyes open where you live. You will be given a free brochure with useful information. You will also receive a NW sticker which should be placed on a front window or glass panel of your front door. This, in itself, can act as a deterrent to would-be burglars. Moreover, many insurance companies give a discount on home insurance to NW members !
Please do join us. The more people who join, the more information we will be able to share and the more effective we will be in deterring crime in our area. Quite simply, criminals avoid areas where they know they are likely to be watched by local people and have their activities reported. Even if all you want to do is be better informed, and to pass on anything you happen to notice, that will really help.
Also, If you are interested in becoming a NW Coordinator for your street (or part of your street) then please register on OWL (https://www.owl.co.uk ), and mention in the Comments section that you would like to be a NW Street Coordinator. Someone will then get in touch with you and provide the necessary training.
The NW are also looking for people who are “tech-savvy” (i.e. are comfortable working with computers, PCs, etc.) to help them with the more technical aspects of running the local; NW.
To either join your local NW, or apply to be a NW Coordinator in the Osterley & Spring Grove area, or provide technical support, please use the contact information below
The following links also provide more information: