Neighbourhood Watch Associations in Sussex
The main purposes of Neighbourhood Watch are to promote good citizenship and greater public awareness through Neighbourhood Watch groups, increase public participation in the prevention and detection of crime, reduce the fear of crime, improve police/community liaison and increase community safety. Neighbourhood Watch is about making sure that no one has to feel afraid, vulnerable or isolated in the place where they live. It’s about people looking out for each other, crossing barriers of age, race and class to create real communities that benefit everyone.
Neighbourhood Watch is a “grass roots” organisation, run by its members for its members. Anybody can join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Usually residents in a neighbourhood who support the above aims and objectives of Neighbourhood Watch agree amongst each other that they will come together and form a local scheme, with the help and support of Sussex Police. This might be one or two streets in a town, or even part of a street, or it could be an entire village. Sussex Police maintains a register of all recognised schemes, and checks the suitability of the local coordinator to hold that position.
The police-held database shows that there are about 8,400 recognised schemes in Sussex covering some 126,000 households. Most schemes belong to a larger local group or Association, for example, representing Neighbourhood Watch in a town or district. Representatives from these Associations based all over Sussex serve on the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation Committees. Our website Contacts page gives full details, and the Links page will direct you to individual websites.
Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation
The Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation, set up in 1995 with the full support of Sussex Police, acts as a forum, co-ordinates resources, provides help to its members and helps to share good practice, as well as seeking to raise the profile of Neighbourhood Watch. It also represents the views of our members to the South East Regional Forum, and where necessary to National Neighbourhood Watch.
All street co-ordinators are invited to gather every six months to share news and views. The Executive and Federation Committees keep the wheels in motion between meetings. The Federation has negotiated a Partnership Agreement with Sussex Police, which has been succeeded by a new Service Level Agreement.
Through the Federation website, we provide approved street signs and security products to member Associations at competitive prices, and promote the centrally-arranged Public Liability insurance which is available free of charge to recognised schemes.
South East Regional Forum (SERF)
The Neighbourhood Watch South East Regional Forum covers activities in the police force areas of Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Surrey and Thames Valley. Thames Valley includes the counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The Sussex Federation is represented on SERF by delegates from our Executive Committee. SERF acts as a partnership forum and communications conduit across the South East, and between National Neighbourhood Watch and SERF, operating in much the same way as the Sussex Federation but across a broader geographical area.
National Neighbourhood Watch (NHWN)
The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network, England & Wales, represents all Home Watch and Neighbourhood Watch members across England and Wales. It is the body that engages with the Home Office and other partners at the strategic level. It supports SERF, our Federation and all the local Associations to help make the areas where we live safe, friendly and pleasant places to be. It facilitates free Public Liability insurance to all recognised member associations who elect to register for it, promotes best practice through its website www.ourwatch.org.uk, and issues free regular newsletters to any individual who wishes to subscribe.