is an important initiative, which enables Neigbhours to improve their feeling of owning their Neighbourhoods. Whilst making each other stronger through like-minded conversations, based around crime reduction and well-being, that feeling of always being victims of Anti-social behaviour or crime can be combatted by active neighbour collaborations.
The Met Business Plan 2020-23 mentions some initiatives like Street watch and School watch.
“Over the course of 2019/20, we promoted crime prevention by supporting numerous community initiatives. Street Watch involves local volunteers assisted on patrols, events and road closures, missing persons, weapons sweeps, days of action and leaflet drops. School Watch, a scheme initiated by Safer Schools officers, mobilises the school community (schools staff, parents, sixth formers, etc.) to promote safety and reassurance for children, providing visibility as pupils travel home from school, preventing anti-social behaviour and crime on that route.”
School watch is easily enabled with the presence of officers in schools who can attend assemblies and parents evenings.
Street watch is often enabled via the MET volunteer scheme, which can be attended by those not having to work at the time of the activity. As MET volunteer to get allocated a volunteer number and get regular invitations to participate.
Operation Venice was mentioned by one user on NextDoor today as a good way of making your phone theft part of this scheme, aimed at combatting Motor-cycle based crime.
“Crime prevention is embedded in all parts of our operational activity. Moped-enabled crime in London reduced by 42.5 per cent since the inception of Operation Venice. This activity was supported by two communication campaigns: Lock, Chain, Cover – prevention campaign aimed at promoting greater security for powered two-wheeler scooters and moped, and Look up. Look out – crime prevention campaign targeted at robbery utilising disruptive approaches such as mobile ads designed to pop up and encourage people distracted by their phones to be more aware of their surroundings and to keep valuables out of sight.”
For those who can attend regular meetings and who have an interest in helping police devise new strategies the Independent Advisory Groups IAGs are ideal.
“In efforts to improve confidence and satisfaction amongst some communities where it is lower, we implemented a number of changes. The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) set up a new Independent Advisory Group with a wide range of community members from across London to advise
on a range of challenging issues such as the manner in which the Met responds to public complaints and officer misconduct. The IAG members are also part of high profile operational Gold Groups to provide critical friend advice and guidance. We also launched our first cohort of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual plus (LGBT+) advisers who work proactively with partners and the public to increase community engagement, crime prevention and active citizenship in order to build trust and
We’d support all these schemes, but none can replace the residents led Neighbourhood Watch schemes because talking to your neighbours cannot be replaced by anything else.
All these schemes like
- street watch
- school watch
- Gold groups
as mentioned above are police run schemes and rely on their management of it.
Neighbourhood Watch in contrast is perpetually run by Neighbours who organise themselves and are run by Neighbours themselves. Your police run scheme may become redundant after a couple of years but Neighbourhood Watch continues to exist, as it does already since 40 years. We do run Street parties for the Queen’s Jubilee or organise litter picks, food distribution in times of hardship and do many other activities like tree planting and keeping areas nice.
We need reliable, safety conscious individuals to set up and run schemes.