Welcome to the Cheshire Neighbourhood Watch Association (CNWA) Website
The document ‘How do I start a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme’, contains information that may find useful to understand what’s involved in setting up your scheme.
The success of Neighbourhood Watch is largely down to volunteers who give up their time to engage with their neighbourhoods and communities and local services, such as the police, to boost community activity, reduce isolation and combat crime.
The Coordinator plays a key role, however, when the whole neighbourhood/community gets involved, then the Watch is stronger and more effective for its members. The relationship between the NW Coordinator and the police is also helpful to the sustainable success of any NW scheme.
Coordinators help their neighbourhoods by:
The initial setting up of the scheme will mean calling on all your neighbours, or posting an invitation leaflet through their letterboxes, to invite them to join the scheme. You may also need to send a few emails to the CNWA for assistance and speak to your local PCSO. After this there are no fixed hours that are expected of you. It is more of a call to action as, and when, the need arises. Schemes vary greatly depending upon the needs of local residents and the time you devote to your scheme is entirely up to you.
We will provide you with the materials required to set up a new Neighbourhood Watch Scheme free of charge.
Speak to your local PCSO or email the CNWA on email@example.com who will help you to sign up.
The CNWA uses the Cheshire Police Alert (www.cheshirepolicealert.co.uk) as the central database to store all coordinator and scheme information. This system is also the messaging tool that is used to share information between organisations and you. You can also use it to store your scheme member details and send them messages. In addition to messages from Cheshire Police you can sign up to receive information from the likes of Neighbourhood Watch, Cheshire Fire and ActionFraud. Once registered your details will only be used by the organisations you select.
All Co-ordinators MUST be registered with the CNWA through either Cheshire Police Alert or Neighbourhood Alert and agree to receive messages from Neighbourhood Watch and Cheshire Police.
You may already be registered on Cheshire Police Alert but we recommend that you create a separate email account and amend your registration on Cheshire Police Alert before you set up your scheme. This email account will be to use purely as a Coordinator, and will protect your personal email should any of your messages be forwarded on inappropriately. You can log into your account and amend details at any time.
Please note that you will not be shown as a coordinator at this stage, you will become a coordinator when you set up your new scheme.
You need to decide on a name for your scheme, we would suggest using Town name – Street Name Neighbourhood Watch Scheme for example Northwich – John Street Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Once you have this, log into the account you have created on www.cheshirepolicealert.co.uk and create your scheme. We have attached a guide for this. Below you will find example texts for your scheme and coordinator bio, these will be asked for during set up.
Example text for ‘Scheme Description’
Our scheme is open to all residents living on ???. We share local community safety information, encourage neighbourliness and support our local Cheshire Police team. Our Watch Scheme makes us a safer and stronger community. If you don’t live in our scheme area contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Example text for ‘Coordinator Bio’
If you want this text to be visible to members of the public you must ensure the ‘Show Coordinator bios’ box is ticked
I am a local resident who is a volunteer, registered, Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator. I cascade crime updates and other information, from the police and community safety agencies, to our neighbours and act as a confidential special point of contact, encouraging residents to look out for each other, report suspicious incidents to the police and to give special consideration to vulnerable neighbours. I work in conjunction with our PCSO and other local co-ordinators.
You can see how your mapped scheme looks to anyone making an enquiry through the national website by visiting the national site www.ourwatch.org.uk and using the postcode search. Mapped schemes enable new residents to make a postcode search via this website. They then have the choice to send you an email to ask to join. The email is a contact box only and does not give any of your details (name, address, etc). Try selecting your scheme and sending an email to your scheme so you can see how it works. If a new enquirer sends you an email you can choose to accept or decline them as a new scheme member and if accepted, send them your co-ordinator contact details. Schemes will only be visible once they have been approved by the CNWA on the Alert system.
You can request invitation leaflets which you can post through your neighbour’s letterboxes to introduce yourself – if you go ahead, just let us know how many you need and we can order them for you. Your local PCSO will bring these to you once they have been printed. These provide a tear off slip for any members who wish to be part of your scheme to give back to you with their details. You can assure your members that their details are for your use only and will not be shared with anyone else, with the exception of the CNWA, Cheshire Constabulary and the Neighbourhood Watch Network.
We would recommend that you store your member’s details in the Alert system which will help you comply with GDPR and ensure that any member details are not shared when you forward, or send, any messages from the system to your members. If you choose not to use the system and send any emails directly from your own email account you must use the bcc function to ensure that you are not sharing members’ details with anyone else.
You would need to agree with your member’s how they would like to receive any information. This may be by posting a paper copy through their door. If you have a few members without email accounts you may have an agreement that they will circulate one copy between themselves.
Contact your local PCSO who will be able to do this for you.