Since its introduction in Cheshire in 1982, Neighbourhood Watch has spread widely throughout the UK and diversified into a range of Watch groups for specific areas of interest: Home Watch, Farm Watch, Hotel Watch etc. Its ubiquity and longevity may hinge upon the simplicity of the core concept, neighbours looking out for one another and helping make their communities safer. Cumbria Community Messaging can help do this better by putting people in touch with a wide range of agencies throughout the County. Anyone can register on the new system to receive useful information, not just existing Watch members. In time the aim is to offer the service to community groups in Cumbria who want to improve communication with their members.
Cumbria Community Messaging is a web-based system and registration is quick, simple and completely free. People can register online by going to: www.cumbriacommunitymessaging.co.uk or if they or a friend or a family member don’t have access to the Internet they can be registered on the system by filling out a form available from Police stations and local libraries. The form can then be handed in to the local police station or to a member of the local neighbourhood policing team.
The objective of Neighbourhood Watch is to provide a framework which brings neighbours together who want to look out for each other, creating strong, friendly, active communities where crime and antisocial behaviour are less likely to happen.
Neighbourhood Watch in Cumbria is supported by Cumbria Police, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, Cumbria County Council and all Community Safety Partnerships.
Cumbria Neighbourhood Watch Association (CNWA) is a charitable organisation which represents the interests of most Watch groups in the county. Cumbria Police have a Service Level Agreement with CNWA which outlines the commitment of the Constabulary to Watch groups in Cumbria.
Cumbria Police assist communities to set up and run Neighbourhood Watch schemes and provide support to them once established. Schemes are not run or managed by CNWA or constabulary staff but, it is important to recognise that Watch schemes work best where there is a strong relationship between schemes and the police. Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) maintain contact and communication with Watch groups if they want members of that group to support policing objectives through implementation of security measures, active participation in crime reduction and prevention initiatives, and provision of information and intelligence.
In accordance with the Service Level Agreement NPTs have appointed ‘Champions’ who provide specialist advice and guidance to their NPT – view SLA