Category: Volunteers

Borough commander news

Borough commander news

I want to express a thank you to our former BCU Commander Mr Mike Hamer, who left service yesterday. He spent a long time in Central East BCU, concluding his long career as borough commander for Hackney and Tower Hamlets. Under his command Tower Hamlets managed to reduce the rating of the borough from worst for ASB to third worst in the national context.

Many thanks also for mentioning the volunteer involvement in the boroughs, this includes us, the members of Neighbourhood Watch in Tower Hamlets. Our new watch signs, show the Met Police logo as well as the Council logo.

Hopefully Mr Hamer will consider joining Neighbourhood Watch with an active role at his place of residence. Neighbourhood Watch – Ourwatch is a national organisation, and you can join wherever you live and transfer membership to a new borough by simply changing your address on the system. We’d also encourage all residents, councillors and business operators to join Neighbourhood Watch to get a bigger impact.

Welcome to the interim Commander, Det. Supt Dan Rutland, who fills in until the new Borough Commander James Conway will take over this post. As he is from Special Operations, we will have a person in charge who is well equipped to deal with the many types of problems we encounter in our vicinity including routine interrupting demonstrations and criminal gangs who try to operate in our borough.

I display the final message from Mr Mike Hamer below for your kind attention.

Neighbourhood Crime and ASB Board

The Tower Hamlets Community Safety Partnership (CSP) is a statutory requirement of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

The Neighbourhood Crime & ASB Board is a strategic subgroup of the Community Safety Partnership. Here Tower Hamlets Council work with partners to look at how we collectively tackle low level crime and ASB across the borough.

We are very happy to accept a place on this board to represent Neighbourhood Watch in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

There is the Neighbourhood Management Pilot project going on.

The board meets on a quarterly basis and includes representation from

  • Tower Hamlets Council
  • Metropolitan Police
  • Safer Neighbourhood Board
  • London Fire Brigade
  • Poplar Harca
  • Tower Hamlets Homes
  • Voluntary Community Sector
  • Neighbourhood Watch

Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association has accepted the invitation to represent Neighbourhood Watch in the borough from next year 2023.

Safer Neighbourhood Team 2022

Safer Neighbourhood Team 2022

The Metropolitan Police’s prestigious Safer Neighbourhood Team of the year award went to Tower Hamlets Safer Neighbourhoods in 2022.

Safer Neighbourhoods Tower Hamlets includes many agencies including

  • Tower Hamlets Council
  • Tower Hamlets Homes ASB Team
  • Parkguard
  • Tower Hamlets Safer Neighbourhoods Policing Teams
  • Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association
  • All schools, landlords, agencies, who participated
See the exact wording written below

Safer Neighbourhoods Team of the Year Award

For those who make a significant and sustained contribution to policing in their local communities.

Tower Hamlets suffered an increase in anti-social behaviour (ASB) and drug offending, which had a negative impact on local communities. The team made it their mission to improve the situation and connect with those hard-to-teach communities, in the densely populated borough that is within five percent of the most deprived areas nationally.

In 2021, the Tower Hamlets Homes Policing Team developed and led on several operations including Operation Mizuna, which used data to identify hotspots and drive action. They chaired multi-agency partnership and residents’ meetings, initiated numerous diversionary schemes for young people with partners, and piloted modern technology to improve information sharing pathways.

With partners, the team provided housing for the homeless and support to drug addicts. Their efforts over six months saw 50% reduction in ASB and in 2021 they seized £108,000 total value of drugs and cash, obtained 12 civil inunctions, made 231 arrests and seized 80 offensive weapons. Their action improved public confidence and the quality of life for others.

Their methods are now being adopted across Hackney and Tower Hamlets and beyond!

For the general public the engagement bus is most prominent to see in Neighbourhoods.

Public engagement event at Cambridge Heath Road in the summer of 2022.
Open evening

Open evening

Networking, meeting others, ask questions, talk to partners.

Friday, 28. October 2022, 19:00 – 21:00, Glasshouse Community Centre

light refreshments provided, welcome to bring and share. Calendar

confirmed attendees

  • Representative from Met Police Community Volunteers recruitment
  • Ward Panel members and chairs from various areas
  • Trustees from the Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association


  • Chris Weavers, Chair of Safer Neighbourhood Board
  • All councillors
  • All residents of Tower Hamlets
National hate crime awareness week

National hate crime awareness week

Organised by NationalHCAW from 8. to 15. October 2022

See the events planned for the whole week nationally and locally

Report Hate Crime

 What is a hate crime?

Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s:

  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity

They can be committed against a person or property. A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime. 

What is a hate incident?

Hate Incidents can feel like crimes to those who suffer them and often escalate to crimes or tension in a community. 

For this reason the police are concerned about incidents and you can use the True Vision website to report non-crime hate incidents. 

The police can only prosecute when the law is broken but can work with partners to try and prevent any escalation in seriousness.

Why should I report hate crime?

Hate crimes and incidents hurt; they can be confusing and frightening.

By reporting them when they happen to you, you may be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else.  You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it.

Reporting makes a difference – to you, your friends, and your life.

How can I report Hate Crime?

 There are several ways you can report a hate crime, whether you have been a victim, a witness, or you are reporting on behalf of someone else:

In an emergency

  • call 999 or 112.
  • If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. However, you will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergencySMS first. See the emergencySMS website for details(opens in new window).

2. Contact the police

  • Who you can speak to in confidence. You do not have to give your personal details, but please be aware the investigation and ability to prosecute the offender(s) is severely limited if the police cannot contact you. Contact your local police force, either by telephone or by visiting your local police station. Details on how to contact your local police force can be found at  (opens in new window).

3. Report online

  • You can report online using the facility on this website.  Go to the ‘Reporting online’ page (opens in new window).

4. Self-reporting form

  • You can download the self reporting form and send this to your local police force. The forms, including an Easy Read version, can be found on the ‘Report a hate crime’ page (opens in new window).

5. Third party reporting centres

  • Local agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Community Voluntary Services etc can also report the incident on your behalf and provide you with advice and support. The ‘Organisations that can help’ page has a list of those organisations that may be able to help you (opens in new window).

6. Crimestoppers

  • If you do not want to talk to the police or fill in the reporting forms, you can still report a hate crime by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website at Tell them what you know 100% anonymously. Always. Speak up. Stop crime. Stay safe.

More information listed on the police funded True Vision website.

Community Safety Charter

Community Safety Charter

COMMUNITY SAFETY CHARTER launched to tackle crimes in public spaces

The Community Safety Charter, encourages everyone from individuals, Neighbourhood Watch groups, businesses, and organisations to take an active stance against crimes in public spaces, such as harassment, hate crime, and antisocial behaviour.   

The Charter tagline is #BETHECHANGE, focusing on the role of active bystanders in leading the change within their communities. The Charter supports greater understanding about how we recognise and deal with community safety issues and support victims by knowing where to get help, how and who to report to, enabling a more positive, proactive approach by the whole community when witnessing or experiencing confrontation, hostility, or harassment.  

Get this post card to give to your neighbours and friends, contact us

Do I need to make a pledge? We are delighted to invite you to sign up to the Charter.  By signing up individuals, businesses, organisations, and groups pledge to four actions:

·  PROMOTE –        promote a culture that does not tolerate harmful language, antisocial behaviour and hostility toward others

·  ENABLE –             enable others to identify and take an active stance to prevent harassment, antisocial behaviour and intimidation within their community

·  REPORT –             actively encourage and support others to report harassment, antisocial behaviour and intimidation and share intelligence about these crimes with the relevant authorities

·  SUPPORT –          support those affected by harassment, antisocial behaviour and intimidation and refer victims to the appropriate support agency  

What will I receive when I sign up? You will receive a printable poster, individual pledges to share on social media, and a comprehensive information pack on a specific topic or crime every two months which you can share with your staff/volunteers/colleagues/friends. The topics covered in the first year are:  

·  harassment
·  hate crime
·  antisocial behaviour
·  being an active bystander
·  dealing with confrontation
·  leading the change in our communities   

Where can I find out more?

·  Watch an interactive presentation here
How do I sign up? Simply complete the online form on Once you have signed up, we will contact you with you within 5 working days to share the first information pack and other resources.    Please share the details of the Charter with your networks and encourage them also to sign up and share it.    #BeTheChange   Central Support Team | NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NETWORK
Follow us… / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn
Neighbourhood Watch Network is a charity registered in England & Wales, CIO no: 1173349 CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF CREATING SAFER, CONNECTED AND ACTIVE COMMUNITIES Please note: This email has been sent to all Neighbourhood Watch supporters within our network  

AGM 2022

AGM 2022

Our first Annual General Meeting as registered Charity was successfully held at a Community Centre.

The opening speech by Deputy Mayor Maium Talukdar praised Neighbourhood Watch as an important and useful community initiative coupled with a promise that the current administration will bring back the ‘A dealer a day’ countering drug dealing strategy in the borough.

Thankfully partners from the Tower Hamlets Community Safety Partnership, which includes Met Police and the Tower Hamlets ASB Team were represented by

The yearly report was presented by the chair, please read the full version on the Charity Commission website here.

It is within the rules of the CIO Constitution, that all Trustees and officers resign at the AGM and then re-affirm their commitments and/or stand for officers positions.

We established a new panel of officers with a new chair, details on the Ourwatch website.

Thankfully those attending showed significant interest in bringing our charity forward and we received no less than four new Trustee applications, three of which have been added to our profile.

As this meeting coincided with the 40th birthday celebrations from the National Neighbourhood Watch Network, who distributed certificates for voluntary services over 5, 10, 25, 40 years, we were able to present awards to people who spent a lot of their free time helping their community in various ways and especially related to community safety.

We are happy to continue the good work by holding regular quarterly trustee meetings and by improving the service to Neighbourhood Watch groups in the borough.

Join us by

  1. Registering
  2. creating / joining a watch group
    1. groups are created by using a mapping tool to draw around your chosen area
    2. groups are joined by selecting from a menu of available groups on the Ourwatch site.
    3. watches are then published on the Ourwatch website (sample) search here
  3. Verifying
  4. join meetings

As the borough Association, we administer all membership generated via the Ourwatch website or people who contact us directly.

Join our Trustee Board

Our Organisation

The Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association (THNWA) is part of the largest grass-roots movement in England and Wales, working to prevent crime and reduce the fear of crime, and support local initiatives to build stronger and better-connected communities.

We are the Borough Association for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. We are closely connected to the National Neighbourhood Watch Network, better known as Ourwatch with a Memorandum of Understanding.

Our organisation comprises of individuals who are either registered on Ourwatch and/or members of active Neighbourhood Watch groups, also registered on the Ourwatch website.

We represent all those who are known to us and want to be connected with Neighbourhood Watch.

Our Board

Our voluntary trustee board is responsible for ensuring the charity is well run and is held accountable for:

  • Pursuing its charitable objectives and complying with its Constitution, charity law, and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • Applying its resources wisely to achieve impact and value-for-money
  • Demonstrating its values and maintaining public confidence in its reputation
  • Working strategically by setting policy and defining goals and targets and measuring its impact.

The board monitors the work of the CEO (yet to be appointed) and acts as a “critical friend” through support and constructive challenge. The Board aims to hold 4 routine meetings each year, usually via video conference. We also aim to develop a regular meeting routine in person to discuss developing strategy and report to members. There are also board committees for more detailed work on finance and resources and on working with the local community and service provision.

We are now looking to recruit new trustees to our board and we recognise that increasing the diversity of our board so that it better reflects the communities we serve will help us do a better job as a charity. We are therefore very keen to involve young people, people from the LGBTQ+ community, those with lived experience of disability or who have been victims of crime, as well as people from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. We will support people for whom this would be their first trustee role to learn about the responsibilities of trusteeship. We are also aiming to strengthen our board in a number of functional areas (see knowledge and Experience section below).

Personal Characteristics

To become a trustee of the THNWA you need to be able to demonstrate that you

  • Support the values and ethics of the Neighbourhood Watch movement and act with integrity, including handling sensitive and confidential information
  • Are willing to learn about the work of the charity and the role of a trustee, and to commit the time needed for the role (on average about 8 hours per month)
  • Are able to read reports, analyse information and exercise good judgement and use of evidence in making decisions
  • Have good knowledge of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • Will contribute to the board and committees by reading reports, attending regularly and participating in discussions by active listening and challenging constructively where necessary.

Knowledge and experience

You don’t need to have specialist knowledge or experience to apply, but we are also keen to hear from people who can help us with fundraising and income generation, or who have experience of marketing and communications and can advise us on engaging with broader and more diverse audiences, including better use of social media. We are also seeking someone with knowledge of charity finance (or with general accounting knowledge who would be willing to learn about the charitable context). We would also like to have one trustee on our board with knowledge of policing and public safety in England and Wales and trends in policy development, especially in Greater London and Tower Hamlets in particular.

How to apply

To apply, please submit a short letter (up to two sides of A4) explaining your interest in becoming a trustee and what you could contribute to the THNWA, accompanied by your CV. These should be emailed to by Sunday 5. June 2022. If you would like to have an informal discussion before applying please email who will arrange a call with our chair.

If your application is successful, we will need to check that you are eligible to be a trustee but provided you are over 16 years of age and have not been disqualified from acting as a company director or convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or deception, you will probably qualify.

We look forward to hearing from you.  Martin Shortis (Chair of the Board)


Trustee Role Description

  1. Introduction
  2. Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association (THNWA) is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (#1194477) that acts as the umbrella organisation for the voluntary crime prevention movement in Tower Hamlets.
  3. THNWA is governed by a board of between 3 and 12 trustees who are initially co-opted by the board, through open recruitment and interview to asses their fit with the person specification (section 4). They then stand for election by the Charity’s members at the next Annual General Meeting. The THNWA Constitution requires one-third of the board to retire at each subsequent AGM but retiring trustees may stand for re-election up to a maximum limit of three consecutive terms.
  4. THNWA’s work is delivered by the elected officers of the committee comprising of Chair, vice-chair, Secretary, treasurer. We have yet to appoint a CEO. The functions of the team are to: support the organisation, volunteers and Watch groups; develop and share good practise; fundraise for THNWA and the organisation; develop training and support for volunteers; develop and deliver strategic aims of the borough movement; develop policies and guidance tailored to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. This is all done in liaison with the members of the Association.
  5. Charitable Purpose
    1. THNWA aims to reduce crime and the fear of crime by supporting grass-roots community initiatives that partner with the police, other public services and the voluntary sector. By promoting good citizenship and encouraging public participation, this work helps people be safer and contributes to greater community cohesion and resilience.
  6. Duties of Trustees
    • Ensure that THNWA complies with its Constitution, charity law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
    • Ensure that THNWA pursues its objects as defined by its Constitution
    • Ensure THNWA’s financial stability
    • Ensure THNWA applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects
    • Safeguarding THNWA’s good name and  values
    • Providing strategic direction to management by setting overall policy and defining goals and targets, and exercising oversight and scrutiny in evaluating delivery of he strategy.
    • Oversee the work of the CEO, setting their remuneration and personal objectives and evaluating their performance, and acting as a ‘critical friend’ to the CEO through support and constructive challenge
    • Ensure that the board operates in the interests of the Neighbourhood Watch Network itself and of any of its members in particular the Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association, or other groups, or of external bodies

In addition to the above statutory duties, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve leading discussions, identifying key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives, and evaluating or offering advice on other areas in which the trustee has particular expertise.

The Charity Commission publishes a guide to The Essential Trustee, which provides more detailed information

  • Person specification
    We recognise that increasing the diversity of our board, so that it better reflects the communities we serve will help us do a better job as a charity. We are therefore very keen to involve young people, people from the LGTBQ+ community, those with lived experience of disability or who have been victims of crime, as well as people from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. We will support people for whom this would be their first trustee role to learn about the responsibilities of trusteeship.

To become a trustee of THNWA you need to be able to demonstrate that you

  • Support the values and ethics of the Neighbourhood Watch movement and in particular the Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association (THNWA) and act with integrity, including handling sensitive and confidential information. You should also demonstrate a commitment to equality and diversity and an understanding of the factors that can limit inclusion
    • Are willing to learn about the work of the charity and the role of a trustee, to commit the time needed for the role (on average about 8 hours a month) and to abide by the charity’s policies and including confidentiality, data protection and safeguarding
    • Are able to read reports, analyse information and exercise good judgement and use of evidence in making decisions
    • Will contribute to the board and committees by reading reports, attending regularly and participating in discussions by active listening and challenging constructively where necessary
    • Can identify and understand where conflicts of interests may arise and ensure they are reported and managed
      While you don’t need specialist knowledge to apply, in this round of recruitment we are also keen to hear from people who can provide leadership to the board in the following areas:
    • Fundraising and income generation, particularly from grant making bodies in the public sector and from charitable trusts and foundations
    • Marketing and communications, especially in how we can engage with a broader and more diverse audience, including better use of social media
    • Knowledge of charity finance, or with general accounting knowledge who would be willing to learn about the charitable context.
    • knowledge of policing and public safety in England and Wales and trends in policy development, especially in Greater London and Tower Hamlets in particular.
  • Eligibility
    As a Charitable Incorporated Organisation we can accept people as trustees who are aged 16 or over. You must not have been disqualified as a company director removed from a position as a charity trustee, have an unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception (such as fraud) or be an undischarged bankrupt
  • Time Commitment
    • The board normally meets quarterly with an additional AGM and another strategic meeting(s). Meetings are scheduled on weekdays afternoons or evenings and are a mix of online and in person meetings in Tower Hamlets.
    • New trustees are expected to participate in an induction program and to undertake training in any areas in which they require development.
    • Trustees are also expected to be available for discussions between board meetings via email or telephone and to participate where possible in working groups and committees where their expertise is relevant
    • Trustees may also occasionally be asked to represent the board at public events, meetings of local groups or with the charity’s partners
    • Overall the minimum time commitment of trustees would equate to around 10-12 hours per month (with additional time required of officers such as the Chair, vice-chair, treasurer and secretary, MSA)
phone snatching

phone snatching

A menace feared by almost every phone owner today.

Opportunist thieves, usually on bikes, cycle around busy spots and look for easy victims to snatch a phone out of their hands.

Busy places like bus stops, outside of pubs, pedestrian areas, all of which have easy cyclist access are among those targeted.

All the thief looks out for is

how you stand, how they can get away, how easy it is to snatch your phone without being pulled off their bikes. or if on foot, how quick they can run off without being caught.

Of course, we all do it, check for messages, use the taxi app, banking app, the map, answer and make calls. That is what a phone is for.

Other thieves are targeting known users of luxury phone brands and do not shy away from using threats to life to get the phone handed over.

Question is what can we do to avoid falling victim to a phone snatcher. The answer isn’t easy.

Victim blaming is never a good idea but we need to think how we can prevent the phone being taken.

For many, the value of the phone is secondary to the tragic loss of personal photos and files and the whole inconvenience of having to buy a new phone.

First principle always has to be your personal safety.

What solutions are available?

another option is Immobilise marking
  • CCTV is only useful if the perpetrator is known and can be clearly seen and identified.
  • Rendering the phone useless after it has been stolen is not currently available because if it was, the thefts would stop, unless of course thieves steal phones for their material value.
  • Targeting known re-sale outlets (this was successfully implemented by police for stolen bikes)

In the meantime, how can we prevent our phone being stolen?

  • Always be alert
  • never hold your phone away from your body whilst holding it in one hand
  • Prior to looking at apps, check the area around you, if necessary stand in a less approachable position or area.
  • Keep the phone inside a bag, so it cannot be seen
  • Use smart water to mark your phone

If your phone has been stolen always immediately report to police, to your phone service provider and all banks and related institutions connected to your phone use.

Most people do not have the presence of mind to remember the details of the thieve as they concentrate on their phone at the moment of theft.