Neighbourhood Watch

Are you interested in getting involved?

We are hoping that if there is enough interest in the coldean area we will organise a coldean wide neighbourhood watch scheme.

So what is Neighbourhood Watch?

Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) has been in existence for over 25 years and is the single largest voluntary organisation in the country. It is overseen by the Home Office which liaises with the voluntary side through the National NHW Association and County NHW Federations. Police forces are officially responsible for approving, registering, and supporting all schemes.

The Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation have regular meetings at Police HQ in Lewes, and NHW schemes in Sussex are supported by the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Association as well as the local police.

Individual schemes are run by members through a volunteer local Resident Co-ordinator, and schemes can vary in size from just a few neighbours to a whole village. Some areas and villages also have an Area Co-ordinator.

Any resident may join an existing scheme, or may start a new scheme if one does not exist in their immediate vicinity. To start a new scheme, a resident should first contact their Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) at their local Police Station, or Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). The PCSO and Area Co-ordinator will provide advice and assistance in contacting neighbours and setting up a formal ‘Start up’ meeting. Once set up, the new scheme will be recorded by the police and the Area Co-ordinator so that newsletters, police community messages, and other information can be provided.

Neighbourhood Watch relies on the participation of the neighbours who live in the area, whether this be a close, a road, or a block of flats. NHW is a community initiative which is supported by the police, not run by them, so success depends on what the members make of it!

Anonymity is the offenders’ strongest weapon. NHW groups take away that weapon by acting as the eyes and ears of the community, and it has been shown that NHW members are less likely to be targeted by criminals.

Aims & Objectives:

The aim of Neighbourhood Watch is to make our neighbourhoods more secure, and our communities feel safer by working closely with Sussex Police and other partnership bodies.

The objectives of NHW are:
To reduce crime: By improving security, increasing vigilance, creating, and maintaining a caring community, and reducing opportunities for crime by increasing crime prevention awareness
To assist the police in detecting crime: By promoting effective communication and the prompt reporting of suspicious and criminal activie
To reduce the fear of crime: By providing accurate information about risks, and by promoting a sense of security and community spirit, particularly amongst the more vulnerable
To improve police/community liaison: By providing effective means to notify Co-ordinators of local crime trends, and by members advising the police of incidents when they occur
To increase community safety: By providing safety information from other Partnership bodies such as Trading Standards and the Fire & Rescue Service.

Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT):
Neighbourhood Policing is all about putting local communities at the heart of local policing, and with this aim in mind.
Dedicated Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been introduced throughout Sussex.
Each Neighbourhood Policing Team covers a locally agreed geographic area. Team members are visible, accessible, locally known, and knowledgeable about their areas. As well as dealing with crime and disorder they also work with partners to resolve the problems and issues that matter most to local people.

The Role of a NHW Co-ordinator:
The major role of a Co-ordinator is to maintain contact between the Police, other Partnership bodies, the Area Co-ordinator, and members of the scheme. Each Co-ordinator will develop his or her own way of working. You are not required to act as a Police Officer, only as the eyes and ears of the community.  Co-ordinators maintain a record of member households to use for ordering newsletters, and for confirming membership to insurance companies, who may check membership in the event of a claim.

Role of a Neighbourhood Watch member:
Being a member of NHW simply means taking sensible precautions such as:
Marking valuable items and keeping your home secure.
Passing relevant information about crime to the police, and keeping in contact with your local co-ordinator.
Keeping up-to-date by reading the latest police supplied crime reports and crime prevention literature.


For all emergencies – 24hrs – dial 999 and ask for the Police
You may also ask for the Ambulance, Fire Service, or Coast Guard if required.

Ask yourself    “Do I need a Police Officer immediately?”

Prime examples of when you should use the 999 emergency number are:
When life is in danger
When there is serious injury to a person, or serious damage to property
If violence is being used, or threatened
Where a serious crime is in progress, or is likely to occur
An offender has been disturbed at the scene, or an offender has been detained
Where a traffic collision has occurred, and involves serious injury
If you genuinely believe that the police need to attend as a matter of urgency.

Don’t assume that someone else has already reported the incident.

For emergency contact for those with speech or hearing difficulties:
Text 65999 (Note that text messages are not guaranteed to arrive quickly)
Typetalk Emergency Line 18000.

The European equivalent of the 999 emergency number is 112, which
should work on mobile phones but not landlines.

For all other incidents – 24hrs – dial 101

Use 101 to contact Sussex Police in all other situations, (not just for crime related incidents).
All calls are answered by the central switchboard operator, and you will either be transferred to the Contact Centre, or the relevant officer, depending on the nature of your enquiry.

In adddition to this 101 contact number an alternative and free option that provides you a copy of your email for your reference later as well as a police reference number in their ‘reply message’ is the email address:

For more information contact your local PCSO, or you can find more information on the federation website: Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation


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