Neighbourhood Watch Groups are taking their fight against crime online thanks to a new website funded by Nottinghamshire County Council.
The Nottinghamshire Neighbourhood Watch Association is the umbrella organisation for Neighbourhood Watch schemes throughout the county, which help to protect over 100,000 Nottinghamshire homes through a network of 30,000 volunteer members.
The website - www.nottswatch.com - is a new venture for the organisation and will be used to keep the public informed about the latest crime and community safety news in their community, local police officer contacts, where the nearest neighbourhood watch scheme is and who to contact about setting up a new scheme.
There are also dedicated members areas for each of the county’s seven districts, which include information about local events, training, toolkits, advice and publications to download - all free of charge.
Free basic computer training in libraries is being offered to all Neighbourhood Watch members across the county so that they can access and use the website effectively.
The website is linked to the Nottinghamshire Neighbourhood Alert scheme, a messaging system that allows Nottinghamshire Police, Neighbourhood Watch, Trading Standards and other public organisations to quickly distribute alerts about crime and community safety directly to email addresses and mobile phones of members of the public.
Nottinghamshire County Council provided funding for the website as part of a £14,500 package of support for the Nottinghamshire Neighbourhood Watch Association, which included training 160 members on how to run a scheme, community safety techniques and personal safety.
The County Council also funded two planned conferences for Neighbourhood Watch volunteers - the second of which is on 24 November this year.
Coun Mick Murphy, chairman of the Community Safety Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council said, “Neighbourhood Watch groups make a fantastic and often unheralded contribution to safety and security in communities the length and breadth of Nottinghamshire.
“I am delighted that Nottinghamshire County Council has been able to provide financial support which will help groups to share best practice, communicate better and generally be even more effective in our shared aim of making local communities safer.
“We hope that the website - and improved access to information it brings - will also lead to the creation of more neighbourhood watch groups in Nottinghamshire.”
Alan Booth MBE, Chairman of Nottinghamshire Neighbourhood Watch Association added, “The launch of the website enables both members and non-members across the county to log on and find out what is happening in each of the seven district areas.
“Although it has a section for members only, it also has many community pages with details of events in each area, training programmes, local police officers, crime information and alerts. It is a great free community resource that I would really recommend people use and explore.”