There is a lot you can do outside your home and family to prevent crime. One such measure is to set up a Home Watch scheme in your area. Essentially a way to improve the safety and security of your local community, Home Watch is a well established part of crime prevention.
Why set up a Home Watch scheme?
Schemes usually start because residents or the police in an area identify a crime problem and want to reduce it. However, the benefits of setting up a scheme go far beyond reducing the levels of crime in the scheme area. It can also reduce the fear of crime in a neighbourhood and encourage good relations between the police and the community. It also helps residents get to know each other.
How does Home Watch work?
There are three basic ways in which all members of a scheme can help reduce crime and the fear of crime.
- Looking out for your neighbourhood Residents of Home Watch areas are encouraged to be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour and Tameside police are ready to offer guidance on what to look out for and the information they need when you report anything.
- Securing the home To reduce the attractiveness of their homes to the opportunist thief, householders are given personal advice on how to improve their security. They are also encouraged to use security already installed and to look after the homes of other scheme members when they are away.
- Property marking Schemes involve members marking property with post coding equipment.
How do we set up a Home Watch scheme?
When setting up a scheme, police advice is essential. The police will want to know that there is real local support, so it is a good idea to find out first if others share your enthusiasm. It is important that everyone is given the opportunity to join in and that no one feels left out. Sizes of Watch Schemes vary and some areas are more easily defined as "neighbourhoods" than others. Each scheme will need a co-ordinator who will act as a contact point for the police and for members of the scheme. He or she will need give up time each week or month for meetings with members, with the police, with other co-ordinators and for the local scheme.
Once the area has been identified, the first step is to arrange a meeting of as many people who live in the area as possible. At this meeting, police representatives will explain in detail how the scheme can be most effective and the service the police can provide for the scheme. This will include advice on the running of the scheme, up-to-date information on local crime and on suitable crime prevention measures.
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For any further information please contact
Tameside Police, Homewatch Scheme Administrator, Hyde Police Station, Clarendon Road, Hyde SK14 2LJ
0161 856 9566