Neighbourhood Watch was once a major presence, especially in suburban and more rural areas, helping local communities get together to deter potential thieves and other criminals.
These days, the organisation still has an important influence with, it claims, nearly 9million member households. But you see far fewer of the well-known yellow and black stickers around these days, with a good deal of neighbourhood anti-crime efforts happening via online networks instead.
UK still very community-minded, research shows
Despite this, the good news is that research from insurer Policy Expert shows that the UK is still a very community-minded country, with millions of citizens watching out for each other.
The vast majority, almost nine-in-ten (87%) say that they know their neighbours’ names.
Strong ties with neighbours
Neighbours also socialise far more often than is often generally thought to be the case. Nearly one-in-three (31%) meet up for drinks, food or other events with the people living just over the fence.
One-in-five (20%) regularly speak to their neighbours on the phone while another one-in-three (34%) say they’re in contact via social media, chatting on WhatsApp or Facebook.
When it comes to keeping an eye on what’s happening next door, well over half (60%) look out for their neighbours when they’re away, and in general, to make sure nothing untoward is happening.
Five easy crime-watch tips to share with neighbours
There are still plenty of other more ‘old-fashioned’ ways of helping to share the civic-load with your neighbours and others to prevent crime and deter thieves. Here are some relatively simple-to-implement tips:
Say hello to your neighbours
Getting to know the neighbours is where it all starts. As Policy Expert’s statistic show, most people do actually know theirs, and staying in contact is very useful; you can leave spare keys next door, share local knowledge and safety tips, watch out for each other’s properties during holidays etc.
Install cameras and share the cost
There are plenty of relatively inexpensive digital systems for keeping an eye out on what’s happening around your home via mobile devices and computers. You could offer to share the cost for an external system (most people might not want their neighbours to be able to see directly inside their home!) and have it linked up across properties.
Everyone having access online would only help increase the effectiveness, especially when you’re away and/or without the internet.
Use local social media, locally-focused websites
Using locally-focusses social media websites is a great way to warn people in your area about anything that’s happened which is unsavoury.
If you’ve had something stolen from your garden, for example, it could mean that thieves are targeting a particular street or neighbourhood.
Join Neighbourhood Watch!
As already stated, Neighbourhood Watch is still a great crime deterrent.
The organisation assists you in getting together with like-minded people where you live and provides expertise in helping to prevent crime. It’s presence in an area is a proven way of deterring burglars and other criminals.
Ask the police around
The police are very aware of the importance of working within communities as a way of keeping crime down, and local knowledge is crucial to them.
Get together with others in the streets around yours and ask for police advice and tips. They may even offer to set up regular meetings in local community centres or other publicly-owned spaces.
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 26th March 2018