Neighbourhood Watch Schemes came into existence out of a need for residential property self-protection. The public has always subconsciously relied on the police to protect them from every type of criminal activity. The expectation has always been that a 999 call would bring a policeman to any incident that violated the security of a home, in minutes. We have to recognise that our modern police forces have finite resources and an ever-increasing workload. They are not able to satisfy our expectations or meet the demands placed upon them. Everything is prioritised and their priorities are reviewed and updated constantly so that precious police time and manpower are used where they are needed most. Neighbourhoods are increasingly being encouraged to be proactive in protecting their own property so that there is a reduction in the need for Police involvement. Neighbourhood Watch was created as a framework for achieving this. Any Neighbourhood Watch Scheme should reflect the needs of the locality it covers. The Coordinating Committee in organising the Horspath Scheme has recognised householders desire for privacy and therefore do not make unreasonable demands on members, who already lead full lives.
The basic standards we ask members to achieve are these: -
- Acknowledgement of the scheme by accepting the minimal responsibility of being a member.
- Make their property as safe as their budget will allow including postcoding valuable belongings.
- Display the Neighbourhood Watch and Postcoded Property stickers where they can be seen.
- Report any threat to Neighbourhood property in their locality, to the police.
- Make the Police Community Support Officer or a Parish Councillor aware of any concerns they have about security in the their area. i.e. Damaged street lights etc.
- When leaving their property empty try to arrange for a neighbour, a friend or a relative to keep an eye on it.
This policy emphasises protection of the Home. We do not demand these standards but simply encourage their achievement. The whole of Horspath is now covered by a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. We want burglars and vandals to be aware that Horspath residents are committed to protecting their own property. If we establish that reputation, the criminal fraternity will get to know and the intelligent ones will not waste their time bothering us. The spontaneous opportunist and the few local trouble makers will always be a problem. They succeed because we, as individuals, have tolerated unacceptable behavior and given them license to offend. In the interest of our families we should discourage any activity that undermines the security of Village properties and thereby the sense of security in the community.