NEIGHBOURHOOD Watch has launched a new campaign – their biggest recruitment drive in recent times – to boost community participation and reduce both the fear and likelihood of crime. The BETTER PLACE TO LIVE campaign will run until the end of the year. It utilises a new logo, launched to sit as a modern partner alongside the immediately recognisable traditional logo.
A ‘better place to live’ is, of course, what we would all like to achieve – whether it be making new friendships, looking after our environment, supporting our neighbours, reducing isolation and loneliness, or working together to reduce fear of and opportunities for crime.
Delivered in towns, cities, and villages across England and Wales, the campaign will have a particular drive during Neighbourhood Watch Week between the 3rd and 9th of June. It has also been launched on social media platforms and the Neighbourhood Watch website. The campaign encourages greater participation in the nation’s largest voluntary crime prevention movement.
The charity is supporting its tens of thousands of volunteers to spread the word in their community. They are doing this by providing printed and digital resources backed up with guidance through online workshops throughout the year. Coordinators are supported to increase their membership and encourage others to start their own groups. Coordinators are also able to support each other in tackling local issues through an online forum and training opportunities.
John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch, said:
“The cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic have highlighted the importance of neighbourhood and community connections in tackling loneliness and isolation, as well as our vital work in crime prevention. We have a proven track record of bringing communities together and helping them to feel safer in a more uncertain world.”
Neighbourhood Watch began life over 40 years ago, with neighbours coming together to watch out for each other and improve their communities. Since then, it has helped people to build more vibrant neighbourhoods, with a central focus on preventing crime. Neighbourhood Watch is no longer only limited to street schemes. A concrete example of this is the charity’s Community Safety Charter, which enables local people and businesses to stand up against crimes in public spaces such as antisocial behaviour, hate crime, intimidation, and harassment.
Carole Atkinson, Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator in the London Borough of Richmond, said:
“I am proud to be part of Neighbourhood Watch because it enables our community to be better connected, feel safer and confident to know what to do. I like that I can support my neighbours and advise them when they ask for help around crime or safety.”
Neighbourhood Watch has recently adopted a new logo, termed the ‘today’ logo, as an alternative to their ‘traditional’ logo, which was refreshed in 2017. Both logos have the same recognisable yellow roundel to ensure they retain their incredible 95% brand recognition across England and Wales.
Their ‘traditional’ logo shows the fantastic relationship between the police and the community which, in some areas, Neighbourhood Watch groups are central to enhancing. The retro figures hint at the longevity of Neighbourhood Watch – which has been established within communities for over 40 years. Some areas may prefer to continue to use this logo as it best represents their group.
Neighbourhood Watch’s ‘today’ logo was born out of overwhelmingly positive feedback from the temporary 40th-anniversary logo, launched in 2022 for that year only. It shows three figures in the refreshed core colours and represents a celebration of diversity.
Members of the public have said that the main barriers to them joining their local Neighbourhood Watch scheme were threefold: they were unsure whether there was a group in their area, they didn’t know who else was involved, or simply they hadn’t been asked to join. The campaign aims to address these reservations, particularly amongst the charity’s underrepresented groups, including 25 to 40-year-olds and those in high-crime areas.
To reach a younger audience, the charity has recruited a young people’s project worker and a young trustee, as well as established a presence on Instagram. Its Lookout Magazine, co-developed with student writers, raised students’ awareness of topics such as drink spiking, keeping safe on a night out, cybersecurity, and mental health. As a result of these actions, between 2020 and 2021, four times as many 18 to 24-year-olds visited the Neighbourhood Watch website compared to the previous year.
It is hoped that the BETTER PLACE TO LIVE campaign will see a similar surge in participation and membership.