Category: Crime Prevention

Reporting concerns

Reporting concerns

We see it every day. People post on social media sites, film, pics of alleged perpetrators.

  • A person is shown taking a package from a door
  • A man with dogs is accused of paedophilia because he walks out at school runs
  • reports of criminal activities, but going to report later
  • Requests for information of individual in pictures whilst accusing them of a crime

Putting such content on social media harms our safety.

All of those can land you in court.

Accusing others of a crime and not having this processed via proper law enforcement can lead to mob law, sentiments of lynching and taking justice and judging into our own hands.

If you know about a crime and do not report it, you can be prosecuted for hindering the police.

Breaches of privacy and accusations of libel can be made against you if you post pictures of others on social media because you accuse them of a crime but they have not been convicted.

You may not want to report to police directly, so please use our anonymous reporting form and send your pictures, description and concerns and we will gladly forward this to police. Your details will not be recorded and the accused will not be published anywhere but to police.

Again, we would strongly encourage to not provide any evidence to individuals asking for this because they allege a crime has been committed. You may find yourself giving information to agents of other countries or crime syndicates, collecting intelligence about a person if you do.

All crime must be reported to police and a crime reference number obtained and then all evidence collected must be handed to police with that reference number.

Never give any evidence to individuals asking but only give to police or provide anonymously for passing on to police.

We have a record number of police officers in service now and the more concise and correct information you provide the easier it will be for law enforcement to process your reports.

All emergencies must be reported to 999 at all times.

See our reporting page for more information

Think crime prevention

Think crime prevention

Once you are registered with Ourwatch you have the choice of various service providers. These include:

Action Fraud (NFIB) (Recommended)
Fire & Rescue Service
Get Safe Online
Local Authority
Neighbourhood Watch (Recommended)
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner
The Police (Recommended)
Trading Standards

Repelling crime through positive community action like communicating with your neighbours helps your local community develop.

The Neighbourhood Watch platform gives you essential tools to make your community saver. See the example of how a local community helps to banish crime from their area in issue two of Scam Interceptors on BBC, they show a sample Neighbourhood Watch and recommend that people join us. Yippee

In many areas, its a small number of people who commit most of the crime especially burglary (home) (car crime) . If criminals feel they can harvest your neighbourhood for goods or use it as base for County lines drug trafficking or other crimes, then they will do so.

Issues vary from area to area, hence we cannot give blanket solutions. You will need to get together with your neighbours and talk about what’s going on in your area. Draw up a risk assessment and a solutions flow chart

Ourwatch gives you the opportunity and tools to do this safely. Neighbourhood Watch helps you to be as inclusive as possible and give community members a platform to participate in many activities, hence preventing social isolation, which can be a driver for leaning towards crime and/or exacerbate mental health problems. Fraud prevention encourages more people to be less vulnerable and tell scammers to go away.

See a range of activities you can do with locals for very little cost. Neighbourhood Watch has proven beneficial to neighbourhoods for 40 years now.

Celebrating the Diamond Queen’s Jubilee during Neighbourhood Watch week, is taking positive action. We support one local Neighbourhood Watch group please see their website for details of the event.

A lack of service

We have come across a number of issues, which show that neither police or MOPAC show the required duty of care to local residents.

There are many complaints, expression of uncertainties, frustrations voiced on various social media platforms, which do not result in action by police or MOPAC.

Just recently a user of NextDoor posted this leaflet that had been put through their door in the St. Lukes Neighbourhood (NextDoor region) and it shows an out-of-date leaflet with a Neighbourhood Watch logo that is no longer in use. No wonder people think the leaflet is a scam. It proves that police just do not up-date their material to be in line with current procedures.

Actually police no longer work closely with Neighbourhood Watch and have lost an important relationship to local people.

That being out of touch culminated in the abhorrent search of a young pupil in a Hackney school, for which police again had to issue an apology. That comes after the Wayne Couzens apology already been given and not accepted by MOPAC.

Though MOPAC delivered a notice of no trust in the Commissioner Cressida Dick, we are not certain that the Commissioner is the main reason for the lack of care.

Mopac themselves do not monitor the Neighbourhood Watch capabilities of the London Boroughs. We have sent numerous complaints, which have been answered but issues were not addressed. The latest agenda of the Tower Hamlets Safer Neighbourhood Board again, stoically invites a representative for Neighbourhood Watch who has not attended any meetings during the last two years and who is not involved in Neighbourhood Watch. The Tower Hamlets Safer Neighbourhood Board refuses to allow the Neighbourhood Watch Association to speak on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch.

As one of our articles clearly shows, the one time police worked closely and interactively with Neighbourhood Watch started 10 years ago, and then the crime rate dipped significantly. As soon as MOPAC supported OWL, the crime rate stayed permanently high, apart from seasonal and Covid dips. It is a matter of attitude and tools used how effective the relationship between police and local people can improve the situation.

This proves to us that MOPAC has no right to merely blame the Commissioner for all the shortcomings in policing.

We have endlessly argued with police and MOPAC that they need to purchase the license to use Ourwatch / Neighbourhood Alert, as most police forces in England do and those forces have far lower crime rates than we do. OWL has become synonymous with high crime rates. Whilst police give us the permission to administer the membership on the Ourwatch platform, the police themselves use OWL, which has no connection to Neighbourhood Watch groups in the borough, other than sending out occasional newsletters to those who have subscribed to the service.

We want to urge all those who care, to register with Ourwatch, join the association and help improve our local crime rates. Unfortunately as it looks at present police will prescribe only to social media platforms, which have the most subscribers. We must however make it quite clear that a subscription to NextDoor, Facebook alone, does not give you membership with Neighbourhood Watch unless you are actually registered with Neighbourhood Watch on the Ourwatch platform and verified with the borough association.

We do see the frustrations voiced on the social media platforms but to effectively achieve changes we need to work together with the borough association to get this done.

Neighbourhood Watch

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
  • IAG
  • 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.

THINK – WIDEN – burglary prevention campaign

British households worry about burglary more than any other crime

  • Two thirds (67%) of respondents to the Neighbourhood Watch Crime and Community Survey 2021 were concerned about becoming a victim of burglary
  • There are evidence-based, simple and effective measures we can all take to reduce our chance of being burgled by up to 50%.
  • Victims of burglary are more likely to be re-targete

New research shows two thirds (67%) of people are worried about their home being broken into, yet there are simple, proven measures we can all take to reduce our chances of becoming a victim of burglary by up to 50%.

Ensuring your home has a combination of the WIDE features is proven to be most effective – and can be done in any home on a variety of budgets. Neighbours keeping an eye out for each other is key to reducing burglary, so they have extended the well-known WIDE acronym to WIDE(N).

  • WWINDOWS: Keep your windows locked
  • I INTERIOR: Put interior lights on a timer
  • D DOORS: Double or deadlock your doors
  • EEXTERIOR: Put exterior lights on a sensor
  • NNEIGHBOURS: Keep an eye out for your neighbours

If you have been burgled recently, criminals know what’s in your house and may come back soon or once you have had time to purchase new items. Act soon to avoid being retargeted. Use the WIDEN advice for a combination of simple, yet effective prevention measueres.

To help people feel safer in their homes, Neighbourhood Watch has joined forces with their longstanding premium partner, ERA Home Security, to launch the THINK WIDEN burglary prevention campaign, providing people of all ages and living circumstances with clear guidance on securing their home.

John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network, said ‘It is not okay for two thirds of people to fear being burgled. More needs to be done to help people be and feel safer, and when it comes to burglary, prevention is always better than cure. Since 1982 we have been supporting communities to feel and e safer, and we know that by securing your home’s windows, interior, doors, exterior and keeping an eye out for neighbours, we can all give ourselves the bet chance of not being burgled.

Throughout 2022, Neighbourhood Watch is celebrating 40 years of community work by hundreds of thousands of volunteers. The first schemes were set up in 1982 to address burglary, and whilst they now address a wide variety of crime types, from modern slavery to cybercrime, they have expert knowledge spanning 40 years providing burglary prevention advice. They are a trusted organisation, with their research showing nearly all (90%) of Neighbourhood Watch members sometimes or usually acting on advice they receive from the charity.

The research also showed that Neighbourhood Watch members are more likely to be satisfied with their personal safety than non-members (70% vs 62%), and the charity believes this is down to the tools, resources and connections it helps local communities to access. Members are more likely to be very satisfied or satisfied with their local area than on members (92% – 88%).

Thieves steal entry door scanners

This was a scanner

Home owners beware, thieves remove, damage, steal your entry door scanners, leaving residents unable to scan in, disabling security.

If your entry door scanner is easily removed, please change your system to a more secure one.

We are offering membership deals to service providers, sign up here. Residents get terrified because thieves will get entry to their blocks easier and can copy the data software from the device.

Love your Neighbourhood

Love your Neighbourhood

One of the Apps we recommend for versatile use in the borough of Tower Hamlets.

This App is run via Council services but would be ideal also for Neighbourhood Watch purposes to connect to Police, but it would need for the Police to adopt this as reporting method, which they currently do not do.

Love Your Neighbourhood is used by various local authorities and after you’ve downloaded it, you choose the borough you are in.

Then you get an amazing menu:

  • Report it
    • Fantastic reporting tool for a variety of issues and you get a lot of categories to report to. It’s best to scroll the menu and get used to the options as you use the App.
    • Main categories are
      • Cleansing
      • Highways
      • Parks
    • Describe the issue you want to report
    • Choose category
    • Take or use a photo already present
    • circle the area of concern on the photo before you safe it to the report
    • Mapping is automatic to the area you are in.
    • report with contact or anonymously
  • Love it
    • Describe
    • take photo
    • send report
  • Breathe Clean
    • provides an air quality forecast for 3 days
  • Waste & Recycling
    • Waste recycling schedule
    • Recycling banks map
    • bulky waste collection
  • What’s On
    • Social events in the borough for kids and adults
  • Road Notices
    • Road issues on a map
    • and on a list
  • Get Involved
    • Consultation suggestions opportunity
    • Volunteer sign-up
  • My Details reports
    • See list of all reports you submitted and their status
  • Follow us
    • Links to websites and social media platforms used by the council

This would be an ideal app to use for Neighbourhood Watchers to deal with council issues. I always recommend people to download this lovely tool.

As already stated, this could be adapted for police reporting use.

Knife bin in Tower Hamlets

Knife bin in Tower Hamlets

A new knife bin which was recently installed at St Mary and St Michael’s Church is now officially open. Mayor John Biggs joined members of the community and local faith leaders yesterday at a blessing and official opening of the bin.

The knife bin has been provided by Word 4 Weapons, a leading UK weapons-surrender charity that helps to create safer communities by promoting voluntary surrender of knives and other weapons. (As published by Tower Hamlets Council’s newsletter today)

We had campaigned for this to happen and at least it did. Hopefully anybody understanding that it is better to put those knives away will use that bin.

Hard calls save lives

Hard calls save lives

Sharing information on knife crime can save lives. We understand that calling with information on a crime is a hard thing to do, especially if you think what you know isn’t worth the call. But the details you give, however small, can help build a picture of criminal offences, and can make a difference in keeping your area safe and even help save lives.
We want to help you understand what sort of information could be useful in preventing knife crime and provide a place to give information safely and anonymously.

It doesn’t need to be the name of offenders. If there’s been a violent incident in your area, you may remember things about that day. Small details such as the time, if you noticed a vehicle that isn’t from the area, or if you’ve noticed anyone acting suspiciously; all these details will help build up a picture of what happened and contribute to a wider investigation.
For further details and how to report your information anonymously, please visit Hard Calls Save Lives website below or simply contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

We publish an incident diary, which could help jot down details of events. There is the short and the 14 day version. You can upload your incident diary to our anonymous reporting page without having to give any of your details.

If you just want to report anything without making yourself known, you may use our anonymous reporting page, which is forwarded very quickly normally.

News from the Home Office

My enquiry to the Home Office about the Neighbourhood Watch efficiently working with all crime reduction partners in Tower Hamlets has now been answered.

We have been given the heads up, the matter was referred to the Crime Strategy and Performance Unit. Whilst we heard at the same date that major drug busts in Britain led to the seizure of over 220.000 units of illegal drugs, we need to concentrate on our efforts of keeping crime down and working to the best of our ability to keep our communities safe.

Drugs present one of the biggest dangers to the integrity of our nation, our families and our future, of course terrorism is an equally blatant danger.

So regardless how many spanners are thrown in the works of resolving crime, we still need to push forward helping to reduce it. We must have a Zero Tolerance policy on drug dealing and consumption and on Terrorism amongst ourselves. Our watch groups are strictly prohibited from working with unsavoury organisations.

If you have information about drugs, report it immediately.

We provide you with tools to handle both problems efficiently.

For constant updates on Terrorism we provide the ACT App to our members, giving us

regular up-dates from the policy makers, advice on how to handle dangerous situations to do with terrorist attacks and prevention and courses.

If you have any information about drugs, you may report this via our own anonymous reporting tool, which does not require you to give any information about yourself, nor do you need to talk to anyone to report.

In fact there is a vast array of reporting options to do so.

Please register with Ourwatch to get the latest news from our national and local partners and the police.