Measuring Neighbourhood Watch
Views of Effectiveness
The objective of this project was to look at the available literature providing evidence of the impact of Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) on crime reduction. It finds a compelling case to demonstrate that NHW is effective in reducing crime and suggests that further research is conducted to examine how NHW can be most effective and to find alternative ways of measuring the effectiveness of NHW in addressing the issues that residents value the most.
Title: Measuring Neighbourhood Watch - Views of Effectiveness
Author: Richard Slatter, Hertfordshire Constabulary
Number of pages: 21
Date published: May 2009
Availability: Download full report PDF 197Kb.
In assessing the evidence the author created a database of 443 documents from around the world, of which 280 were research papers. Documents were searched for references to effectiveness and for related views and experiences. The results were categorised and ranked in terms of quality and depth.
The most reliable results show that in the UK, Neighbourhood Watch schemes are effective in reducing crime in 79% of cases when compared with similar areas where no schemes exist.
The studies show that Watch schemes are generally highly valued by the general public, who appreciate them not just for their impact on crime but also for the reassurance that they provide and for the ways in which they encourage greater community spirit and cohesion.
This research draws a line under the debate about whether Neighbourhood Watch Schemes are effective in reducing crime. They are.
With encouraging results on the effectiveness of Neighbourhood Watch in reducing crime, this paper proposes that future research into effectiveness should focus on the other aspects of Neighbourhood Watch that the public value and on learning from the successes to promote best practice within the Watch movement.
Getting a copy
Last update: Tuesday, August 11, 2009