The Avon and Somerset covers an area of nearly 2000 square miles and has a population of over 1.6 million people. There are countless organisations and groups working across the area, many of which are 'Watches'. The 'Watches' registered for police 'Community Alert' include:
Allotment Watch, Boat Watch, Business Watch, Caravan Watch, Church Watch , Community Speed Watch, Farm Watch, Horse Watch, Hotel Watch, Medical Centre/Surgery, Neighbourhood Watch, Post Office Watch, Pub Watch, Residential Home Watch , School Watch, Shop Watch, Sports/Leisure Watch, Veterinary Surgeon.
There are approximately 10,000 'Watch' contacts registered for police 'Community Alert', with Neighbourhood Watch accounting for about 50%. However, compared against the total population of Avon and Somerset, and taking in account Neighbourhood Watch Scheme on average have about 30 contact members each, ALL registered 'Watch' membership accounts for under 10% of the population.
Consequently, about 90% of Avon and Somerset are not benefiting from 'Community Alert' and information on crime and crime prevention.
Participation in Communities and Watches is a absolutely free, and open to everyone, and there is a huge opportunity to participate - not just for crime prevention - but also for safety, support and resilience.
All police registered Watches receive 'Community Alert' messages relevant to their Watch, but it's Neighbourhood Watch that has a particular emphasis on community support within Schemes. For information on how to join, and participate in any of these traditional 'Watches' just follow the links in the menu above.
If these existing and traditional watch groupings do not meet your requirements, or are inappropriate to your circumstance, then just set up a 'group' and support structure that makes sense to you. Also, existing groups such as clubs, schools, places of worship and residents associations can add the principles of a 'Watch' under a more general 'banner' to their organisation - such as 'Community Watch' or run a 'Keep Safe' scheme.
The basic requirements are that members of your group or organisation can;
RECEIVE up-to-date INFORMATION and ADVICE on issues of SAFETY and SECURITY
IMPLEMENT advice on safety, security and CRIME PREVENTION
REPORT crime and issues that affect your safety and security - and that of others
WORK TOGETHER and communicate with each other quickly and easily (preferably online)
To register your group or organisation for 'Community Alerts' just click below;
Enter your details and for the moment, select 'Neighbourhood Watch' as your 'group type'.
(We are currently in discussions with the Community Alert team to add 'Community Watch' and 'Keep Safe' as a 'groups').
For other sources of information and advice for your group, go to our 'Staying Informed' page.
Communications & Social Media Apps
Working together effectively and enjoyably requires quick and easy communication. Email can be a useful 'start up' or 'back-up' position. However there are now so many better approaches to on-line communication that are instant and easy to use. Social media messaging apps as well as video conferencing apps provide an excellent way of keeping in touch and passing information - and it's all freely available.
WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and has surpassed Messenger as the most popular social messaging app
Messenger is a social messaging app also attached to Facebook
Telegram has over 200 million users of this app. People can use the app on laptops, tablets, and mobile devices
WeChat is a social chatting app that works on any mobile device. This service has over 1 billion users
Nextdoor is a neighbourhood 'hub' to exchange of information, goods, and services. However, there are some security and privacy issues, along with technical limitations as this app will not run on older smartphones. Also, Nextdoor is geographically mapped, which has its own limitations. But in the absence of any existing local groups, this could be a 'starting point'.
Skype is one of the most professional messaging apps.
Zoom despite recent concerns promoted by the media, Zoom is an excellent video conferencing app.
IMPORTANTLY, whichever app you choose for your group, do make sure everyone is comfortable to use it and that no-one is excluded for technical reasons.
JOINING A GROUP, CREATING YOUR OWN GROUP, OR ADDING A 'KEEP SAFE' SCHEME TO YOUR ORGANISATION COULD NEVER BE SIMPLER!
AND IT'S COMPLETELY FREE!