Celebrating 30 years of Neighbourhood Watch in West Yorkshire (6 Jul 2015)

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Neighbourhood Watch in West Yorkshire which boasts around 4,000 local schemes across the county. Neighbourhood Watch is a simple but effective initiative where people come together to promote safety and reduce crime in their neighbourhoods.

Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins acknowledges the support and dedication of all those involved in Neighbourhood Watch schemes in a short film which can be viewed here.

She said: "I would like to thank all those Neighbourhood Watch scheme co-ordinators and members who have worked with us over the years to reduce crime. We are seeing a significant reduction in the numbers of house burglaries and other burglaries in West Yorkshire. Neighbourhood Watch is obviously playing a big part in helping to achieve these reductions and improve the quality of life for local people."

Online Watch Link, or 'OWL' technology is now helping local Neighbourhood Watch groups prevent crime and help find people wanted by the police. OWL is a shared, secure online platform which details the latest local crime alerts, suspect appeals and details of missing people.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "Preventing crime is everyone's business and as individuals we have an important role to play in the prevention of crime. Neighbourhood Watch plays a vital role in making our communities safer and feel safer. They are a valuable community partner and I will continue to work with them to help increase the number of schemes available across West Yorkshire. It's very important that we recognise and support our Neighbourhood Watches on a regular basis and hear from them directly. It is impressive how one scheme can make such a difference to an area and how just one person can make a difference.

"I was delighted to be able to present a number of certificates and awards to some very worthy Neighbourhood Watch Scheme co-ordinators and members at a Neighbourhood Watch conference at the West Yorkshire Police training complex Carr Gate over the weekend."

Chris Joyce, Project Manager for Local Policing and Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer at West Yorkshire Police, said: "Neighbourhood Watch has played a major role in the prevention and reduction of crime over the years and now groups are successfully using OWL to link with the police and other partners to maximise their potential. Groups can share success stories and keep in touch with other groups throughout West Yorkshire whilst keeping up to date on the latest news and information."

West Yorkshire Police has just celebrated the excellent achievements of Neighbourhood Watch groups and co-ordinators at its annual awards ceremony. The 'Achievement Awards' were held at the Carr Gate complex near Wakefield on Saturday 4 July to recognise the time, effort and support of those people who help the police to look after their neighbourhoods.

The award winners and all those nominated demonstrate how positive things can happen when people come together to make a difference in their communities. It's hoped that the difficult task of choosing winners will become even more of a challenge in the future by having many more success stories to consider.

If you would like to set up a new Neighbourhood Watch Group, whether it's for just a few houses or a whole estate, please get in touch. More details about the scheme and how to set up a new group can be found at: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/nhw

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018