What can NHW contribute?
Crime Prevention is often about physical security, which can be installed by the individual. To be even more effective, and at no cost, this can be complemented by a social dimension to crime prevention provided by NHW, where neighbour aids neighbour, strengthening communities not simply individual security.
E.g. Cocooning. Probably the cheapest and one of the most effective forms of crime prevention: houses in proximity (say 3-4) either isolated or overlooking one another, agree to ‘look out’ for each other. This multiplies the visual security against callers and loiterers at no extra cost. A variation is for the elderly or vulnerable to call a prearranged ‘contact person’ when they get ‘cold callers’ or suspicious individuals loitering.
Reliable neighbours improve security and reduce a sense of isolation: they are valued, reducing the ‘fear of crime’, whilst groups of ‘cocoons’ covering a village or estate make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. NHW provides the structure, organisation and communication to work with Police to pull these elements together.
Members of Neighbourhood Watch are offered a 10% discount on household insurance by a NHW sponsor, the Coop Insurance.
Does NHW Work?
Yes; academic research has shown that NHW reduces crime by 16-26% but only if it is implemented properly; it takes more than a sticker on a window or a sign on a lamp post.