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Neighbourhood Watch

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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Guidance for Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25th May 2018, and the Neighbourhood Watch Network has publicised guidance on how this will impact on Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators, who hold the personal data, including name, address and contact details of their members.  Please take time to read the guidance that can be found via the link below and which, concludes with a handy check list, to ensure that if you are holding members details that you can comply with the new regulations.

Neighbourhood Watch Network Guidance

Neighbourhood Watch was introduced to Dorset in 1983 when the first Scheme was set up in Boscombe. That first meeting was held in St. Saviours Church on Holdenhurst Avenue and the community response was overwhelming.

Although Dorset is still one of the safest places in which to live, with one of the lowest crime rates in the country, Dorset Police are committed to reducing it even further, but it needs the support of the community and Neighbourhood Watch provides a significant means by which residents can play their part in making their area safer.

The main objectives are:

  • To Prevent Crime - by improving security and increasing awareness
  • To Protect the Vulnerable by encouraging a caring community spirit and reducing social isolation
  • To help with the detection of criminals - by promoting effective communication
  • To reduce the undue fear of crime - by providing accurate information about risks and promoting a sense of security
  • To improve Police/Community relations - by fostering regular contact and liaison

Why Join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

By joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme you can feel more secure knowing that you and your neighbours are keeping an eye on each other’s property.

  • Getting together with your neighbours can prevent crime and well-run schemes have a big impact on reducing the opportunities for crime.
  • Neighbourhood Watch can play a big part in reassuring those who are lonely and have no one to turn to if they are worried about crime.
  • Neighbourhood Watch can rekindle community spirit and is a great way to get to know your neighbours.

Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill says of Neighbourhood Watch:

"It’s a fantastic idea; it’s been around since the 1980’s. I’m very passionate about it because I joined the Police in the 1970’s and I set up one of the first ever Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in North London and now here I am 30, 40 years later advocating it as a Police and Crime Commissioner. It’s a great, great system and I would advocate everybody, join your local Home Watch or Neighbourhood Watch and along the way don’t forget most insurance companies will give you a 10% discount if you belong to that scheme. Why? Because you’re less likely to be a victim of crime. If you had 15 people in say, Brook Road, who all joined the Neighbourhood Watch or Home Watch Scheme they are looking out for each other, they are looking for anything suspicious and they are the point of contact for the Police, who will then tell those 15 people if anything is going on in the area and to alert their neighbours. It’s a fantastic communication tool, it’s about the community policing itself and it’s about instilling confidence in the community and it’s also about the community and Police working together."

How Can I Find Out More About Neighbourhood Watch in my Area?

To find out if there is a registered scheme in your area, please sign up with Dorset Alert by following the link below.  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

If there isn’t a scheme available near you why not start up your own? You will feel more secure knowing your neighbours are looking out for you and it’s also a great way to make new friends. You can find out more by following this link:


Association of Dorset Watches (ADW)

The ADW is an elected group of Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators that represent all Watch schemes within the Dorset Police Force area. As well as having a strong partnership with Dorset Police the ADW forge links with organisations including Local Authorities, Fire and Rescue and Crimestoppers.

The ADW hold four public meetings a year (including the Annual General Meeting) at various locations across the county, often featuring keynote speakers.

To find out more about the ADW, visit their website by following this link.


The ADW links into the national representative body, the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, please follow this link to access their website

Through this link you can gain access to the Knowledge Base, where you can find information on setting up and maintaining a successful scheme, as well as other useful advice including crime prevention.

Public Liability Insurance

The Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (NHWN) receives a Home Office grant to provide free Public Liability Insurance for all Neighbourhood Watch schemes across England and Wales. The policy includes Personal Accident Cover for Co-ordinators (under the age of eighty years) whilst undertaking tasks on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch. Cover also includes emergency neighbourly acts, if undertaken under the Neighbourhood Watch banner.

Dorset Police is advised that the policy covers any scheme registered with an Authority recognised or verified by the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, this includes the Association of Dorset Watches. 

What is covered?

For more details about what is covered and what is not covered by the policy please follow this link.