PCC pledges four-year support for Herts Neighbourhood Watch
Hertfordshire’s ever-growing Neighbourhood Watch scheme has secured funding for its future from Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd.
HertsWatch, the voluntary organisation which co-ordinates Neighbourhood Watch activity across Hertfordshire, has secured £5,000 annual funding for the next four years to continue its great work in promoting the scheme and encouraging new members to share crime information and prevention advice. 
Based on the simple idea that you can make your community more secure by looking out for your neighbours, keeping an eye on their homes while they are away and receiving and sharing crime prevention advice, Neighbourhood Watch is a tool used by an ever-increasing number of people in Hertfordshire.
Members are informed about the latest crimes and scams in their area via the OWL (Online Watch Link), providing a timely outreach of advice and information. The scheme is well-supported in Hertfordshire with more than 110,000 member households and growing, making it one of the strongest Neighbourhood Watch counties nationwide.
The Commissioner’s office carried out a review of ways to support Neighbourhood Watch, which included an in-depth assessment of its current funds, plans and operations, and analysis of a recent survey about OWL, which reaches its 10-year anniversary in Herts this October.
HertsWatch also supports other watch schemes, including Business Watch and the recently-launched Senior Watch, which helps to protect Hertfordshire’s senior residents.
With long-term funding now secured, HertsWatch will be able to proactively plan campaigns, promotion opportunities and events, support District Watches and have a greater impact on crime detection and prevention in the county. Potential plans include county conferences, targeted marketing and social media campaigns for awareness, literature and training.
Commissioner Lloyd said: “Neighbourhood Watch is a major success story in Hertfordshire and I want to make sure it can continue to thrive and expand. I strongly believe in public participation in crime prevention and community safety, and Neighbourhood Watch is a great way we can all play our part to keep Hertfordshire safe.
“The long term funding I am providing will give the scheme stability, flexibility and room to grow, which can only make Hertfordshire’s position as  a leading light in the scheme nationwide even stronger.”
Neighbourhood Watch Chair Sue Thompson said: “We have a team of dedicated volunteers who have helped make Herts Watch such a success.  I hear good stories every week from neighbourhood watch members and co-ordinators, who are doing their bit to help keep their communities safer.  The majority of the information passed on from Neighbourhood Watch members  via 101 or 999 by has led to an arrest or helped highlight an issue to police – it’s all about being community spirited, looking out for your neighbours, being vigilant when you are out and about in your area and reporting suspicious incidents in a timely fashion.
“We are delighted to receive this funding, which will help us to set up promotion events in even more areas around the county, develop awareness sessions for the elderly, set up new projects which will engage with the younger members of our communities and recruit  new additional members to our numerous Watch schemes.  All these initiatives help reduce crime and make Hertfordshire an even safer place to live.”
Members of the public can sign up to Neighbourhood Watch by visiting www.owl.co.uk  or alternatively, contact the Watch Liaison Team wlo@herts.pnn.police.uk.