Neighbourhood Watch and Countryside Watch
Various watch schemes are running throughout Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The main ones are Neighbourhood Watch and Countryside Watch.
A Neighbourhood Watch scheme is a group of like-minded neighbours getting together to help reduce crime and make their community safer. Neighbourhood Watch covers urban areas, such as cities, towns and villages.
Countryside Watch is the rural equivalent to Neighbourhood Watch. It covers all property in rural areas and helps people who feel they are too remote to benefit from Neighbourhood Watch. It brings together farms, rural businesses, rural properties and horse owners who want to protect their property from crime.
Both schemes operate in the same way but they deal with slightly different types of crime.
There are a number of other specialist schemes operating, such as Horsewatch, which work closely with Neighbourhood Watch and Countryside Watch.
Aims of Neighbourhood Watch and Countryside Watch
- To prevent crime by improving security, increasing vigilance and maintaining a caring community.
- To assist the police in detecting crime by encouraging prompt reporting of criminal or suspicious activity.
- To reduce undue fear of crime by providing accurate information about risks and by promoting a sense of security and community spirit.
- To improve communication between police and the community.
How the schemes work
- Schemes are run by their members and led by a resident volunteer co-ordinator, whose job it is to get people working together and make sure things get done.
- The scheme co-ordinator liases with the police and acts as a voice for the community. Some schemes also have a committee that meets regularly to plan which problems to target and what actions to take.
- Schemes are supported by the police, the local authority and their local Neighbourhood Watch Forums.
- Neighbourhood Watch schemes vary in size – they can be large, covering most of the houses on an estate, or they may involve just a few houses.
How to join or set up a scheme
To find out about Neighbourhood Watch or Countryside Watch schemes in your area or to discuss setting up a new scheme, contact your Local beat manager or complete the general enquiry form.
Devon and Cornwall Community Watch Association Chair:
Tel: 01840 261351
E-Mail Julie Dowton
The Devon and Cornwall Community Watch Association (DaCCWA) is the recognised umbrella organisation for watch schemes in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.