What is Neighbourhood Watch?
Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) was started when it was realised that the Police alone could not contain or prevent crime, anti-social behaviour, burglary and related thefts without the assistance of the community at large. It is both a philosophy and an approach to working together as a community to enhance the safety of families and other people, who live, visit and do business in their neighbourhood. It also encourages interaction and a shared sense of responsibility between individuals, neighbours and communities for preventing and reducing crime.
NHW areas report becoming much more aware of the need to secure their homes and other property, and of becoming much more vigilant. It is also apparent that residents are more confident about reporting suspicious activity and, where they have witnessed crimes taking place, presenting evidence in support of prosecution.
As a result, a number of Police and associated organisations were able to confirm that crime had reduced in NHW areas and, correspondingly, residents were able to report reductions in the fear of crime. It is clear that in many parts of the country NHW has played a significant role in improving people’s quality of life and in fostering community spirit.
The program has been so successful that there are now many thousands of Neighbourhood Watch areas servicing both city and rural locations. Approximately half the population live in Neighbourhood Watch areas.
The Police Service is committed to working in partnership with the community and greatly appreciates the outstanding contribution that the many NHW groups and volunteers make for a safer and more secure existence for all.
The mission of NHW is to:
Encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to work together to reduce crime and improve community safety.
An important message from Chris Hayes MP, Federal Member for Fowler, NSW and co-chair of the Friends of NHW Parliamentary Committee.
Neighbourhood Watch Still on the Lookout
Neighbourhood Watch is alive and well in Australia and our region.
It is designed to enable us, the residents, to be able to protect ourselves and also help the police with their enquiries.
In Tweed we can help ourselves by being vigilant. This does not mean living in your neighbours pocket, but being aware of what is going on around you. If you see someone lurking about, whom you have not seen before, and looking rather suspicious, then report the matter. By suspicious we mean, looking in houses, be it windows or doors, or cars. This can occur day and night.
As there are many visitors at this time of the year walking about the streets in our area, it is a great idea to ensure that you keep your handbag, purse or wallet, along with any other valuables, out of sight.
It is also advisable to keep your screen doors locked at all times.
There have been several thefts in the village in the past. Make it as difficult as you can for thieves.
Don’t be frightened to phone Crimestoppers to report an incident. You may be helping yourself or your neighbour from being a victim of crime.
Once you report an incident to Crimestoppers they will send a car to the area to check it out. Just a blue light going through the Village may be enough to scare off a prospective offender.
How Can I Help?
The simplest way you can help yourself, your neighbours and entire community is by keeping alert, noting unusual activity in your neighbourhood and reporting suspected criminal activity to police.
Improving home security measures, simple steps to keep yourself and your property safe while away from home and sharing the message of security tips with your neighbours.
A safe and family friendly neighbourhood is what we all want.
One helpful resource is the Home Safe brochure, which you can download here, produced by the NSW Police Force.
You can ask your local NHW coordinator for further Crime Prevention information or browse Crime Prevention on the NSW Police Force website.
How Do I Become a Neighbourhood Watch Volunteer?
View our Local NHW Groups listing page. If you see your area listed you can simply contact the coordinator of that area and they will inform you of what information is required from you.
Alternatively, you can fill in our online application form.
If your area is not listed then contact the Tweed Valley Neighbourhood Watch Secretary and they will provide you the information on how to start a NHW group in your area.
After all; Many hands make light work
How Much Time Do I Need To Dedicate to being a NHW Volunteer?
As a NHW volunteer your hours are your own. There is no minimum or maximum hourly requirements for official NHW volunteers.
Taking a few minutes a day to spread some education by informing those in your community of current events and personal safety/security matters makes a difference to the communities we all share.