10.27 PM Tuesday 24 May 2016

Home Watch

Home Watch Logo

What is Home and Neighbourhood Watch?

Home Watch, along with larger schemes known as Neighbourhood Watch, is one of the largest and most successful crime prevention initiatives, with schemes covering the length and breadth of the country.

It was first set up in the UK in 1982 and came to Dorset the following year. Although Dorset is still one of the safest places to live in the country, with one of the lowest crime rates, Dorset Police is committed to reducing it even further and relies on the support of the community to achieve this.

Watch schemes have four main objectives:

  • To prevent crime – By improving security, increasing vigilance and protecting the most vulnerably members of the community by encouraging a caring community spirit
  • To help with the detection of criminals – By promoting effective communication
  • To reduce the undue fear of crime – By providing accurate information about risks, supporting victims, promoting a sense of security and a caring community
  • To improve Police – Community Relations – By fostering regular contact and liaison


Why Join a Home Watch Scheme

Neighbourhood Watch LogoReduce Crime: Home Watch schemes play a vital part in preventing crime, and statistics show that you are less likely to be burgled if you belong to an active Watch scheme. 

Reduce the fear of crime: By joining your local Watch scheme you can feel more secure, knowing that you and your neighbours are keeping an eye on each other’s property: the schemes play a big part in reassuring those who live in fear of crime.

Improve crime detection: Watch groups have a close relationship with the police and help them to detect crime through improved communication and by reporting suspicious and criminal activity quickly.

Foster a community spirit: Being part of a Watch group, with a common goal to make a shared community safer, can rekindle community spirit and is a great way to get to know your neighbours.


How Can I Find Out More About Home Watch in my Area and Get Involved?

To find out if there is a registered scheme in your area, visit the Neighbourhood and Watch Network website at www.ourwatch.org.uk and use the postcode search.

You can also find out more by signing up to Dorset Alert. Dorset Alert provides regular information and updates from Dorset Police on criminal activity and good news stories in your area. During the registration process you will be able to check if there is a scheme near you, which you can apply to join online.

Follow this link to register and find out if there is a scheme near you.

You can download your Welcome Pack here.

If there isn't a scheme available near you, why not start your own? For details on how to do this, contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team. You can do this online, find out how here >



Association of Dorset Watches (ADW)

The ADW is an elected group of Home Watch Co-ordinators that represent all Home and Neighbourhood Watch schemes within the Dorset Police Force area. A representative of the ADW sits on the South West Region Neighbourhood Watch Forum, which links into the national representative body, the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, please follow this link to access their website at  www.ourwatch.org.uk. Through this link you can gain access to the Training Toolkit (click on the Get Involved tab), which takes you through all the steps of setting up and maintaining a successful scheme, as well as providing other useful advice including personal safety and vehicle security.


Latest News

Public Liability Insurance

The Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network has secured funding from the Home Office for the sixth year. This enables the Network to secure free Public Liability Insurance for the whole movement to be covered to the value of £10,000,000.

Access Insurance has also been able to provide some additional cover at a very competitive premium, ensuring that the roles which volunteers undertake across the movement are valued.

One such addition is cover for Community Emergency Planning Committees and ‘emergency neighbourly acts’, if undertaken under the Neighbourhood Watch banner - see FAQs below for clarity. The additions also include Personal Accident Cover for Co-ordinators under the age of 80 years while they are undertaking tasks on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch: personal accident cover does not include members.

For more information, click here to view the Public Liability Insurance FAQs for 2016 -2017 from Neighbourhood and Home Watch (360kb PDF) >