What is Neighbourhood Watch?

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 (https://owgra.org.uk/neighbourhood-police/ ) and the NW team work closely with them.