Category: Neighbourhood Watch

The Runaway helpline

The Runaway helpline

Inner London attracts a fair amount of runaway young persons.

We ask you to look out for young runaways who may sit in the street. There is an obvious danger that these runaways get exploited by

  • People inviting them to stay in their homes for sexual favours
  • people using them for slave labour
  • gangs and criminals
  • begging gangs

If you come across young people sitting in the street, who look out of place, lost or homeless, please invite them to call the

Runaway helpline 116 000

If that young person does not have a mobile phone and you cannot afford to buy them a cheap one with a sim, then please ask local shops to accept young people calling from their premises to call or text. Runaway helpline website.

Fire safety

Fire safety

I am writing to inform you that the London Fire Brigade has launched a new Home Fire Safety Checker aimed at offering residents an online fire risk assessment in their individual homes to complement our free Home Fire Safety Visit programme.

This innovative online tool allows residents to receive tailored fire safety advice based on the type of property they live in, as well as behaviours commonly associated with fire risk. The Checker guides them around their home to help them identify any potential fire risks and hazards, then provides advice as to how they can take steps to reduce those risks.  The assessment could be carried out on their behalf by a carer or family member, if appropriate.

Though we continue to offer free in-person Home Fire Safety Visits (, we want to focus these visits on the most vulnerable in our communities; the Online Checker is an easy-to-use tool for everyone that will signpost them towards booking an in-person visit if any significant risks are raised.

Please share the Home Fire Safety Checker, found on our website at with your residents. If you would like more information on Home Fire Safety or the Checker, please contact us at

Student watch

Student watch

The words ‘student safety’ can bring to mind awkward parental advice, scaremongering lectures or, worst of all, an ageing man in a backwards cap saying ‘how do you do, fellow kids’? But the people who know students best are… students.

THE LOOKOUT termly magazine is full of incredible stories written by students for students. It also features stories of students across the country who are doing amazing things to bring their campus and local community together, advice on safety and wellbeing, and how to get involved with local volunteering opportunities.

Read more ……………………

Download the magazine

Signing up

Neighbourhood Watch is a huge national system, with over 1.000.000 signed up members and messages reaching 2/3 of the British population.

Whilst the system is being up-graded from V3 – V4, and there are various sign-up options, it depends what page you land up to sign up.

The simplest way to sign up is using this

sign up page

Knife crime

Unfortunately the trend of knife attacks and violence blights our safety. Tower Hamlets Council has already carried out weapons sweeps on July and again carries out these sweeps in the coming weeks. 

But, why not give knife owners the chance to voluntarily deposit knives in save locations, knife bins, as they are used in a lot of boroughs in inner London. See locations

These bins help knife carriers to make a decision to safely dispose of their weapons instead of just keeping them at home or even dropping them into undergrowth to be found and to be dangerous to all. 

I will be forwarding this email to all councillors and those responsible for decision-making in Tower Hamlets for consideration, and ask you to discuss the issue with your local councillors and neighbours too. 

I have also completed the latest Home Office survey to request more action on combatting violence in the borough. The Home Office has already agreed to supply more Hot Spot policing, which is necessary as currently our SNT officers are used to make up numbers and therefore not available to deal with other crimes or patrolling our wards. 

Recent events have shown that we need to step up participation in Neighbourhood Watch. I have asked our new Inspector for Safer Neighbourhoods, Ashley Rose,  for a meeting in person in a police station in Tower Hamlets and will be inviting our members to attend. 

The latest statistics from the Probation Service show a clear correlation between offenders having violence as highest convicted offence and the number of offences committed being mostly violence. 

The new Ward Panel handbook of the Met Police states that one of the three Ward Priorities has to be violence combatting and can be set by the police. 

Ourwatch is listed as official Neighbourhood Watch partner in the Ward Panel Handbook on page 9, please share this email with your neighbours and invite them to register on Ourwatch. Follow us on Twitter

Please feel free to contact me with ideas and queries.

Official partner of the Met

Official partner of the Met

The new Ward Panel handbook, as published by the Metropolitan police, states on page 9, Neighbourhood Watch with as the hosting site for the service.

Neighbourhood Watch, Marine Watch, Pubwatch, Community Road Watch, Street Watch, School Watch are all mentioned. See the full book for download here.

Ourwatch is our main members’ registration portal for administration and practical purposes. We strongly encourage you to register with Ourwatch, even if you cannot find a scheme in your area as you will be able to benefit from the registration and get the crime prevention material and other communications sent by the local and national systems. You can always join a watch later, create your own watch or join a virtual cover watch on a social media site.

We also strongly encourage all to register with the Borough Association for membership.

Good to know

Did you know that

Thank you for making people smile. Together we can build a community and spirit like no other.


Our main membership hub is Ourwatch. It has a network of over 1 Million signed up members in the UK and reaches over 1/3 of all residents with the messages we send.

Even if you cannot find an existing watch group in your area, continue to register and you will benefit from excellent crime prevention messages and other information sent my your local and national membership administration volunteers/staff.

Join the borough Association and have a vote in the running of it.

Our first public meeting

Since our Charity registration was completed with the Charity Commission, we held our first public meeting with surprising results.

It was refreshing to hear how openly, those attending, discussed their personal, professional and public issues to do with personal and community safety.

Tower Hamlets Community Safety Officer John Fortune and 3 Tower Hamlets Safer Neighbourhoods Officers and Anne Ambrose, who sits on the Safer Neighbourhood Board, discuss Community Safety at our meeting. As well as No Place for Hate representative Benedicta Dikeocha and Junior Lawyer President Avion Headley all spoke on the issue of Race Hate and equality.

Pictures do not show all those attending. Minutes of the meeting are published here.

We thank all those attending meetings and seeing us at other public events, those who ask questions and want to know more about Neighbourhood Watch.

Then those who come to see us from other areas of London are always very pleased to hear that they can register with any address in Great Britain on the same website Ourwatch and get automatically allocated to their local scheme, area representative and connect to their local borough or force association.

That became especially clear at the recent HARCA event on Teviot estate.

It became clear that publications, which describe OWL as advanced solution for police & communities, are in fact not correct as OWL is not as advanced as it is described on this Council website.

An Ourwatch mapping system, showing both street based watches and a social media cover watch.
  • The most important issue is that the vast majority of crime prevention alerts are sent out via Ourwatch or Neighbourhood Alert to all those registered with those services. I know that from personal experience as I am both registered with OWL and Ourwatch. Those messages sent through Ourwatch reach over 1/4 of the UK population, whilst OWL hardly ever sends out crime alerts and OWL messages reach only a very limited number of recipients. In fact we get more messages on open platform Twitter than from OWL.
  • Watch registration is more advanced on Ourwatch as you actually have a choice to map your watch area to an area of your choice – if available – and you are not forced to accept a whole post code for your watch area but you also have a choice to have several post codes as your watch area and can run more than one watch scheme both on the streets and online. You can register a watch encompassing a street, an estate or only one building.
  • On our version of OWL, there are no co-ordinators listed, whilst on Ourwatch you can create, maintain and develop your own scheme. OWL is available only in a very small area of Britain (a few London boroughs) and doesn’t interconnect with the rest of the national system.