So what’s the best way to set up a new Watch?
There is no minimum (or maximum) size that a Watch should be. Some Watches are as small as 6 homes (often those in a single Close) whereas others are much larger. The Watch should ideally cover the whole of a road (or a number of roads, or a block of flats) or have a clear and obvious physical boundary where the road/block is large and the Watch does not cover it all.
When totalling the number of homes your Watch would cover, you will also need to consider how many helpers you would need in order to run the scheme and also to provide cover for holidays, etc. Larger Watches of over 50 homes will probably need a deputy/assistant.
The very first action you will need to take in forming a Watch is to canvass your neighbours in order to find out about what amount of support you would receive. Drop a letter to each houshold explaining that you would like to set up a Watch, and explain the advantages to them of being in one. If you receive an encouraging response, then you will need to arrange for a meeting of the residents in order to discuss the proposal further. Ideally a representative of the WAN committee should be invited to assist you with this meeting.
A short guide is available in pdf format which can be printed to help you start your Watch. Just click on the link below:
WAN Registration Form – please complete (including signature), scan, and return to firstname.lastname@example.org
Do remember above all that if urgent assistance is required, then call the police on 999 – they are trained to tackle and deal with serious problems – residents are not.
It is important to note that the duties of a coordinator are not onerous and can be adjusted to suit the scheme, for instance, where some schemes are extremely active, others are low-key (yet still effective).