What is Neighbourhood Watch?
Neighbourhood Watch (NhW) schemes were first launched in Kent in
1984 and since that date the organisation has gone from strength to
strength. There are now approximately 7,400 schemes countywide
embracing some 335,000 households.
While NhW remains an independent organisation, namely a
community project; owned by the community, run by the community,
for the community; it has raised its professionalism and structure
in such a way that Kent is seen as a national leader.
Each of the policing areas in Kent has a NhW Association, and
from those associations a representative is elected to sit on a
county group, known as the Kent
County Neighbourhood Watch Association (KCNWA).
KCNWA is a company limited by guarantee and has charitable
What does KCNWA do and who is involved?
The board of KCNWA meet monthly and, its principle aims are to
support area associations, working in partnership with Kent Police,
to prevent and detect crime, particularly focusing on those who
seek to target the elderly and vulnerable members of our
KCNWA also meet regularly with their area Kent Police Watch
Liaison Officers in order to deal with local and county issues. The
purpose is to establish a level playing field of police support
around the county for NhW, the sharing of best practice and the
creation of a clear structured way ahead for the partnership. Kent
has already pioneered a Service Level agreement between KCNWA and
Kent Police. Other forces and county associations, around the
country are using this document to create their own local
What is the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network?
Since the demise of the National Neighbourhood Watch
Association, Kent's influence and proposals have helped establish a
new national organisation and this by national agreement is called
'Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (England and Wales)'.
The country has been divided into 10 regions. The South
East region comprises of the Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and
Thames Valley policing areas. The NhW leaders from each area meet
under the title of the South East Regional Forum 4 times a
year. It is from this forum that a delegate is elected to represent
the region at a national level to work alongside The Home Office
and the Association of Chief Police Officers. For the first time
the NhW movement in the UK, in line with Kent's proposals is
democratically elected from its grass roots to the very top.
Police forces have also adopted the same regional groups and
also meet quarterly, and the police and NhW forums are invited to
each other's meetings so as to ensure the openness and transparency
of each other's roles and policies for the way ahead.
There are many issues currently being debated within the NhW
movement and KCNWA offer the assurance that at a county, regional
and national level that it will do all it can to ensure NhW remains
focused on its principles, dynamic in the way it represents its
grass roots members and how it negotiates on your behalf with the
Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers.