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Association of Scottish Neighbourhood Watches Newsletter 2

Association of Scottish Neighbourhood Watches
Newsletter 2
April 2010

Hello and welcome to the second issue of our newsletter. The response to our last mailing was very positive. As well as the more ‘formal’ feedback provided in your answers to our survey, we also received a host of phone calls and e-mails and requests for more of our ‘Safer Communities, Safer Scotland’ publication.
It’s great to find out what you think of what we’re doing, so please do keep letting us know.
Since becoming Chair of AoSNW in September last year, I’ve overseen a period of rapid change and development within the organisation. We are now in an excellent position to take Neighbourhood Watch forward in Scotland.
We have produced a business plan for the coming year, which will be further
developed to meet your needs as identified by the survey. You’ll find some of the initial findings from the survey later in this newsletter. The results were veryinteresting, throwing up a few surprises as well as confirming some expectations.
We hope that you will take some time to nominate your watch or a member of your watch, or one of the partner agencies you work with for an award this year. We think it’s really important to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Neighbourhood Watches. You are all playing a part in keeping Scotland safe and we are fortunate to be able to acknowledge the effort that goes into being aNeighbourhood Watch volunteer. So get nominating!
Over the coming year, we will be hosting events and producing resources to help Neighbourhood Watches throughout Scotland. We’ll keep you informed of these as and when they are made available.
We look forward to working with all of you to help make Scotland safer.
Ian Fowler

Celebrating our success!
AoSNW Awards 2010

The AoSNW Awards are all about celebrating good work and sharing experiences with other people. Who knows? Hearing about the work of your group may inspire others to try something new.
You can nominate your own Neighbourhood Watch group, or someone in your community, or someone you work with. The work of volunteers often goes unnoticed, and we want to change that. There’s nothing wrong with a
little recognition from time to time.

This year’s categories are:
Best Neighbourhood Watch or Association
Most supportive partner in community safety
Best Idea Award
Communication Award
Positive Impact Award
Community Spirit Award

Voting is open until mid-May. You can download a form from our website, or call us to request one. Or you can nominate online at :

This year’s Awards Lunch will be held following our AGM on 10th September 2010, in the Caledonian Hilton in Edinburgh. Here’s what last year’s winners had to say about the awards.

"Winning the award last year for the Best Neighbourhood Watch Association in Scotland was a great accolade.
It has given us the incentive to try to achieve even more for Neighbourhood Watch, crime prevention and our
Jean Brown, Glasgow West NWA, Winner - Best Neighbourhood Watch Association 2009

"Receiving the award was, in my case, an indication that what I was trying to achieve was a small step in the right direction!"
Bill Young, Dunfermline NWA, Winner – Service to Neighbourhood Watch 2009

"I was delighted to accept the 2009 AoSNW Award for Community Spirit on behalf of the people of Drumpellier Neighbourhood Watch. Our community has supported endeavours from security cameras to weed killing services with over 98% of the 400 households engaging in our activities and this recognition means a lot to all of us. The award we received for innovation recognises the interest our members take and the ideas we bring to fruition through dedication and hard work. This award has encouraged us to expand our services to maintain two communal gardens with the support of the Beautiful Scotland campaign with over a dozen volunteers in our community getting their hands dirty on this! Our community spirit continues to go from strength to strength."
Andrew McDonald, Drumpellier Neighbourhood Watch, Winner – Community Spirit and Innovation Awards 2009

“Winning an AoSNW Award brought with it a real sense of pride and kudos. The recognition really raised the profile of our organisation and the work we are doing.”
Tom Taylor, East Renfrewshire Neighbourhood Watch Association, Winner – Communication Award 2009

"I thoroughly enjoyed a well organised event/presentation/AGM and meeting many other Neighbourhood Watch winners and Volunteers."
Frank Conway, Manor Way Neighbourhood Watch, Winner – Service to Neighbourhood Watch 2009

We all know that the Fire & Rescue Service put out fires, but they also play a huge role in the safety of our
communities and can help you to make your home and street safer.

Partnership Focus: Fire & Rescue Service
Helping the community to prevent fires…
(Contributed by Strathclyde Fire & Rescue)

In Scotland, you are twice as likely to die in a house fire compared to householders in the rest of the United Kingdom. People north of the Border are also much more likely to suffer injury or property damage.
In response to these grim facts, the ‘Scotland Together’ report was published last year, which made recommendations on how the Fire Service can work together with other agencies and the community to make Scotland safer. The research was compiled by a team of fire professionals under the leadership of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue’s (SFRs) Chief Officer, Brian Sweeney. Strathclyde Fire & Rescue’s Director of Community Safety, Lewis Ramsay, confirmed:
“There’s no doubt that issues such as alcohol, smoking and poor health are key contributory factors in house fires.
High levels of deprivation and other social issues such as the number of people living alone, or those who receive social care also point to higher risk. Firefighters need to work closely with the range of key public sector colleagues to make sure people are safe in their own homes, and are provided with the appropriate levels of fire safety advice and assistance.”
As a local resident, you can make a full contribution to your own safety and the safety of neighbours. Keep a look out for the welfare of other local residents. Act quickly to alert the fire and rescue service if you hear a smoke
alarm sounding.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Services provide the following services free of charge within your area:
• Fire Safety Check of your home;
• Installation of smoke alarms; and
• Provision of fire safety advice and information including guidance on what to do in the event of a fire.
Visits can be requested by contacting your local Community Fire Station or alternatively text “CHECK” to 61611.
Together, we can protect the people most at risk and make our communities safe places to live, work and visit.
You can find the ‘Scotland Together’ report, along with a host of fire prevention advice, on the Strathclyde Fire & Rescue website:

Member Survey - What you told us
In January we sent out a survey to all of the watches we had registered at that time, which was just under 1200 watches. We had 554 responses, a much higher return rate than expected, so a HUGE thank you to everyone who took the time to fill in the questionnaire.

We have had initial results back in a draft report, but we wanted to share the findings with you as soon as possible. We will be analysing the results further and putting together an action plan, which we will publish on our website.

Some quick facts about Neighbourhood Watch in Scotland
• Most coordinators are male (65%)
• 82% of coordinators are aged 54 or over (Only 1% are under 34)
• A third of watches do not have any members under 25 years old
• 99% of coordinators are white
• 59% of coordinators have been in their role for 6 years or more
• In almost half of groups (48%), only one person is involved in running the watch.
• The average start date for Neighbourhood Watches was 1998

Biggest Community Safety Concerns
• Dogs Fouling/Roaming/Barking
• Road Safety
• Youth Disorder
• Safety of Children
• Damage to vehicles
There were no issues which were regarded as ‘serious’ by the majority of respondents.

Biggest Challenges for Neighbourhood Watches
• Maintaining member interest
• Getting members to take an active role
• Recruiting additional members

Partnership working
• 82% of groups work with the Police very closely or sometimes.
• 34% of watch groups work with Community Councils.
• Not many watches work closely with other partners like Local Authorities, Fire & Rescue services or local businesses.

Current Activities
• Distributing information to members
• Distributing information on behalf of the police or other agencies
• Raising local problems or concerns to partner organisations

What you think of us...
• Perhaps most worryingly, 17% of you have never heard of AoSNW!
• Your views on the services we currently offer were mixed, with most people viewing them as useful.
• 52% of you rate our support to you as Very Good or Good.
• 40% of you don’t have an opinion on our service.
• 22% of you use our website

• You have varied views on what AoSNW’s role is or should be, including:
• Providing links between Neighbourhood Watches
• Keeping watches informed of current issues
• Keeping a list of all watches
• Providing advice and assistance to watches
• Liaising with government and other national bodies on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch

What you want from us in the future...
• Basic information about AoSNW
• Up-to-date information on current community safety issues
• Raising public awareness of AoSNW
• Continue to be responsive to the needs of local watches
• Learning and sharing information and ideas between watches
• Influence partners
• Financial help

The subjects you want more information on or help with are:
• Maintaining interest in Neighbourhood Watch
• Doorstep Safety/Bogus Callers
• Funding
• Running a watch

What we'll do...
Based on what you told us in the survey, we will now formulate our action plans to fit your needs.
We now know which areas to focus on and what kind of information you are looking for. We already have projects underway which will help us to provide the kind of service you want from us and we will keep you informed of
these as they progress.
Again, a huge thank you for taking the time to help us understand your needs. AoSNW is here to provide a service to you and you can help us to make that service better.

Good Practice Spotlight -
Marketing Neighbourhood Watch in North Ayrshire

Watches get a warm local welcome…
(contributed by Jim Miller, a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator in North Ayrshire)

Neighbourhood Watches in North Ayrshire have been working in partnership with Strathclyde Community Safety Policing ‘UA’ Division at Irvine since 2007 in supporting the development of new and existing NWs. In that time, the number of watches has steadily increased.
When a new watch starts up, a special ‘Launch Meeting’ is held and is attended by area coordinator Jim Miller and local PC Alan McPhail. At this meeting, the new Neighbourhood Watch members are given a presentation
on what Neighbourhood Watch is all about. This includes outlining the aims and objectives of Neighbourhood Watch and identifying current issues and areas of concern for the new watch.
Also at these meetings, the coordinator is given a personalised CD Launch Pack, which includes materials. There is help and advice on how to run meetings, templates for newsletters, an incident diary amongst other resources.
Each member gets a Launch envelope which contains a ‘Contact Card’ with helpful numbers so that Neighbourhood Watch members know how to contact Strathclyde Police to report a non-emergency incident. Contact details are
also shown for the local Community Policing Team (with E-mail address), Crimestoppers, North Ayrshire Council and their NW Co-ordinator.
Neighbourhood Watches receive continued support from Strathclyde Police, Community Policing Teams across North Ayrshire and North Ayrshire Council. Strong partnership working and innovative resources have contributed to the steady increase in watches over time.

Partnership success in Angus
Say no to unwanted doorstep callers
(contributed by Brian Smith, Angus Trading Standards)

Over the past four years Neighbourhood Watch, Tayside Police and the Trading Standards Service of Angus council have been working together on the doorstoppers initiative. In October 2009 the initiative was awarded a commendation at the Scottish Policing Awards .
Since then the No Cold Calling Areas, based on Neighbourhood watches have beenevaluated.
The results of a survey, undertaken with the assistance of the Scottish Institute of Policing Research, showed that unwanted cold calling had dropped by 82%.
Nearly 75 % of residents felt more knowledgeable about doorstep crime.
Those who were worried by doorstep crime reduced from 31% to 13% of residents after the No Cold Calling Areas were introduced.
Likewise those who feared crime in their street reduced from 27% to 17%.
These results show not only the benefit of the introduction of the doorstoppers initiative for the residents of Angus, but also what can be achieved by the effective partnership of Neighbourhood watch with Trading Standards and
the Police.

A good year for Glasgow West
An update from their successful AGM
(contributed by Jean Smith, Secretary, Glasgow West NWA)

Over 40 members turned out on a cold wet night for the Association’s Annual
General Meeting. We were delighted that the recently appointed Divisional
Commander, Bernard Higgins, was able to attend and give us a short talk. He
assured us that the hard work of the Association had not gone unnoticed.
Community Safety Officer Colin Laird said that, with the Association picking up so many awards and nominations, 2009 would be a hard act to follow.
The announcement that the Evening Times Senior Community Champion Award had been won by our committee member and former Chairman Jimmy Young for long service to NHW was greeted with warm applause.
The business part of the meeting was led by Chairman Stanley MacLeod, and the committee was unanimously re-elected, with the addition of a new member joining the ranks. There then followed a fun quiz while the buffet
supper was set out. There was ample opportunity to chat with friends old and new before the evening closed with a fund-raising raffle.
The evening proved a great success, and it was very encouraging to meet some new and very enthusiastic members.

Neighbourhood Watch Products available
We stock a range of Neighbourhood Watch branded products. We wanted to let you know the items that are proving popular with many of our Watches across Scotland.
The metal lamppost signs are popular in that they help define the area covered by the Watch and they can act as a visual deterrent.
We also stock small round window stickers with the Neighbourhood Watch logo. These are available FREE with P&P for bulk orders.
All the above products are shown on our website .
We also stock a range of security and safety products. If you are interested in any of the products please give us a call on 01786 450145 or email us at They can also be collected from our office in Stirling where we keep a limited stock so please ring us first.

Contact details
Association of Scottish Neighbourhood Watches
Unit 10, Alpha Centre
Stirling University Innovation Park
Stirling, FK9 4NF

Telephone: 01786 450145
Fax : 01786 447775

Back to: Maxton Parish Noticeboard

Date: 20/04/2010