There are several layers of security that are relevant to our own personal protection and the protection of our families:

  • Firstly: taking responsibility for your own safety and the safety of your property should be a major concern for us all. This is our duty to ensure our homes are locked and adequately protected, that our vehicles are safely parked and without valuables left on display, and that our children are taught something about the basic dangers that exist in society. All these things we can do to help ensure our collective safety. Of course everyone’s needs are slightly different but it comes down to basic precautions, care and vigilance. This applies whether we are at home, in the office or down at the beach. Crime can happen at any time so we must be prepared to prevent it.
  • Secondly: Some of our safety also lies with our neighbours. When residents pay attention to what is happening around them, it helps to deter criminals who visit our community, as they become aware that they are being watched. This is also one of the great strengths of NW because we choose to be more vigilant. We can’t expect to see everything but when we do feel something is suspicious or not ‘normal’, doing something about it can make the difference in preventing a crime from being committed. In a time of need your Neighbour might be the person that is the closest to call for some assistance. Besides your immediate family with you in your home, your neighbour is closer to you than police or security companies.
  • Our third layer is where we as Neighbourhood Watchers give a few hours of our time back to the community to patrol our streets. Whether it is two hours a week or four hours a month, time spent patrolling your watch area can make all the difference. Patrollers have radios linked to the Community Safety Partnership, as well as over 400 radios in private hands, who will respond to reports of suspicious behaviour or crimes taking place. Our patrollers are out at all hours of the day and night, protecting our communities, helping you to get a peaceful night’s sleep. Property type crimes are committed either by opportunists or by serial criminals who plan their activities in advance. Both will be deterred if they see visible NW Patrols actively watching out for their community.
  • Fourth, Monitored Alarms. Alarm systems should comprise of door & window contacts, internal PIR detectors and external beams to provide further layers of security which can give warning of a potential intrusion but also to deter criminals from making any attempt on our property. Security companies react to these alarms by notifying their armed response vehicle which is then despatched to the location. The importance of alarm monitoring and an armed response must not be under-estimated as it limits the time a criminal can spend in your premises because they are faced with the certainty that an armed officer is approaching. In contrast, an unmonitored or independent alarm is of arguable benefit and can actually have a detrimental impact on the surrounding community. They do not tend to be serviced and frequently activate thereby causing nuisance to neighbours who then begin to treat this situation as ‘normal’ and will not consider the situation suspicious.
  • The final layer of our security is the police. Unfortunately police numbers are limited, and calls for their assistance are often greater than they can respond to at any one time. However, it is vital that all crimes (or attempts) are reported to them as they cannot hope to prevent crime or identify crime problems if they only have half the picture. It is sometimes just one small piece of seemingly inconsequential information which, when passed on to police, helps solves the crime or identify persons or vehicles involved. As a consequence, they are more likely to patrol areas where crimes are being committed than those areas which appear to be without crime due to a lack of reporting.