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.
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.