The Government’s agenda on policing and crime has, out of necessity, focused on reforming and adapting current organisations at the local, regional and national level. This has had some noticeable success but reforming organisations is only part of the equation. The public also has a vital role to play. Indeed without public support and action local and central government cannot make communities safer.
Seventy-five per cent of the public are prepared to play an active role in tackling crime. While organisational reforms have helped to reduce crime the Government needs to go further and create the conditions in which citizens are empowered to make change happen. One such vehicle for empowering communities in the fight against crime exists, but is in a poor state of health.
Neighbourhood watch schemes are valuable networks in which the public can exchange news and ideas with each other, help their neighbourhood and foster a shared sense of community. This project would look at the current state of neighbourhood watch schemes across Britain and consider the possibilities for its future evolution and revitalization. Some questions the project seeks to answer include:
Is the current neighbourhood watch format the right one for twenty-first century living?
Is the scheme meeting the demands of the most vulnerable citizens and communities?
Are such schemes appropriate in light of the changing needs of citizens, new technologies and transient populations?
Does the scheme need to adapt in response to the changing crime environment and the success of Government reforms and how should they go about it?
Do such schemes create sustainable and resilient communities?
How can Government help support and influence such schemes in the future?
If you are interested in finding out more about this project, including partnership opportunities, please contact Jonathan Birdwell.