Neighbourhood Watch were looking to increase their impact in high crime and rural areas, while at the same time attracting people from younger and more diverse groups to get involved in their local Neighbourhood Watch.
The rise in volunteering across communities as a response to COVID-19 provided an opportunity for Neighbourhood Watch to learn from those involved in community organising and better understand how they could add value for their volunteers and communities.
We undertook a listening process in two target areas: a rural community in Gwent in Wales and an inner city community in Lewisham, to uncover insights and help identify recommendations for Neighbourhood Watch’s future community engagement. This included semi structured interviews and online workshops with community leaders and organisers to gain a deeper understanding of perceptions of Neighbourhood Watch in their community, attitudes towards crime and community policing and the types of organising that are most effective in their area.
We produced a report with a number of recommendations for Neighbourhood Watch, that focused around how to change the organisation’s image to better appeal to target audiences, how to improve the organisation’s infrastructure and how to provide support and incentives for coordinators and volunteers. These recommendations informed Neighbourhood Watch’s review of their overall strategy.
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