Patrons: High Sheriffs of East and West Sussex
Neighbourhood Watch began life in the UK over 30 years ago in response to rising crime, but today, as times change, it covers all aspects of keeping safe.
Our main aims are to prevent crime, reduce the fear of crime, and improve safety. That means that whilst combating crime remains our core aim, whether it be traditional crime or new and emerging trends, we also help out in other important ways that help protect our communities, such as during and after emergencies.
Neighbourhood Watch promotes good citizenship and greater public awareness through Neighbourhood Watch groups, increases public participation in the prevention and detection of crime and anti-social behaviour, reduces the fear of crime, improves police/community liaison and increases public and community safety.
The modern 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 background to create strong, cohesive communities that benefit everyone.
Neighbourhood Watch acts as the eyes and ears of the community. As a result, it has been shown that Neighbourhood Watch areas are far less likely to be targeted by criminals.
"Crime cannot flourish in a community that cares."
In Sussex every Neighbourhood Watch member is a volunteer - we have no staff. We are a not-for-profit organisation, non-party in politics, and operate an equal opportunities and non-discriminatory policy. Anybody can join, regardless of their background, and membership is free.
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 aims and objectives of Neighbourhood Watch agree amongst each other that they will come together and form a local scheme, with the support of a local Association and 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. Neighbourhood Watch partners Sussex Police to check the suitability of the local coordinator to hold that position.
There are over 5,000 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. These Associations provide a “voice” so that the views and concerns of residents can be addressed with the police and other relevant organisations at the right level to get things done. Representatives from these Associations based all over Sussex meet and support each other at the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation. Our website Contacts page gives full details, and the Links page will direct you to individual websites.
The Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation, set up in 1995 with the full support of Sussex Police, support which continues today and is endorsed by the Police & Crime Commissioner, acts as a forum, co-ordinates resources, provides advice, support and help to its members and helps to share best effective practice, as well as seeking to raise the profile of Neighbourhood Watch. We regularly interact with Sussex Police and the Police & Crime Commissioner, and enjoy their respect. We currently represent the views of our members to the South East Regional Forum, and interact with the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network across England and Wales.
We co-ordinate and assist with county-wide projects such as Junior Neighbourhood Watch and Community Resilience. We provide approved street signs and security products to member Associations at competitive prices, and promote the centrally-arranged Public Liability insurance and window stickers which are available free of charge to recognised schemes.
We are a Registered Charity No. 1059756. Our Patrons are the High Sheriffs of East Sussex and West Sussex.
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 the national Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network and SERF, operating in much the same way as the Sussex Federation but across a broader geographical area.
The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network represents all 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, window stickers for all members, promotes best practice through its website www.ourwatch.org.uk, and issues free regular newsletters to any individual who wishes to subscribe.