Neighbourhood Watch: The Facts

As we know from the work we do with our befriending scheme in the London boroughs, many elderly people can feel disconnected from the world around them. As we get older, we may not be as able to use services commonly provided online – services others take for granted.

This applies to others who may be in more vulnerable positions, too. Disabled and vulnerable people benefit from having connections to the world around them, as do we all.

Neighbourhood watch schemes are running all over the country, including various areas of London. Now, you may think the main aim of neighbourhood watch schemes is to reduce crime in local areas. This is indeed one of the key goals of the scheme. It began in the UK in 1982, but before that, it had been going for nearly two decades in America, as revealed on the Metropolitan Police website.

Image courtesy of M Nota

However, as the website states, it is also a great way to build positive community spirit. People get involved in all manner of ways, and while not everyone can get involved as much as others, we should encourage and contribute to these schemes wherever we can.

Another key point is made on the website for the Met Police. This is the point that the perception of crime is often worse than the reality. For the vulnerable and elderly in society, it is very easy to feel isolated and to isolate themselves further in fear of what may happen if they were to venture out.

That’s why we do all we can to make positive connections with people who take advantage of our befriending service. We may be the only people – or, at least, the first people – someone sees in their day. There have been occasions when the connections we have made with people have changed their lives for the better, and we see them gaining confidence to go out and engage with the world around them.

Keeping our neighbourhoods as safe as possible isn’t just about preventing crime. It’s also about connecting with each other, so we can create a stronger and brighter community.

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