Who We Are
We are a strictly non-political community group dedicated to making Birstall and Wanlip safer places in which to live. We work to achieve this by offering advice and security products, encouraging residents to be more vigilant, fostering a community spirit and maintaining close links with the Police, Parish Council and other partner organisations.
The concept of Neighbourhood Watch was brought to this country in 1982 from the United States by a group of British Police Officers after a visit to Chicago. The first scheme was set up in Mollington, a village in Cheshire, in response to a spate of burglaries and was an immediate success. Good news travelled fast and surrounding areas were quick to adopt the idea. Throughout the 1980s growth was dramatic and Neighbourhood Watch schemes were established throughout the country.
There are now Neighbourhood Watch schemes covering over six million homes, 27% of all UK households. This makes it the largest voluntary movement in the UK.
The first Neighbourhood Watch scheme in Birstall started in February 1990 with less than thirty houses around Curzon Avenue.
It started as a small group of concerned individuals but quickly became a force to be reckoned with in the Village. It made its name by running campaigns like the National Crime Prevention Week and establishing Co-ordinators' evenings and postcoding services. We continue to work with other agencies to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.
Since those early days, our Watch has grown to over a hundred-and-fifty individual Schemes with around three thousand member households - well over 50% of all the houses in our villages.
In 2000 Wanlip joined with Birstall as a separate Scheme in it own right.
The Watch was voted the best in the country in 1995 and has been praised by the local and national media for its efforts to improve the quality of life for the residents of Birstall and Wanlip.
Birstall and Wanlip Neighbourhood Watch is an association of individual Schemes overseen by a Management Committee. Committee Members are elected at an Annual General Meeting. In addition, there are two Representatives nominated by Birstall Parish Council and one nominated by Wanlip Parish Meeting. The Police Officers permanently assigned to our local Beat Team are ad hoc members.
The Annual General Meeting is held each April and at the first Committee Meeting following, the Committee elects the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer for the next year.
Schemes and Coordinators
Each Scheme covers a number of addresses in the same street or area with its own Coordinator, who is the link between its Members and the Committee.
Our primary source of income are the individual donations collected by the Coordinators. The suggested amount is just one Pound from each household per year. Those who donate are registered as Members for that year and issued with a Membership Card. (Wanlip Parish Meeting pays the donations for its residents.)
We are grateful to Birstall Parish Council for supporting the Watch for many years with a generous annual grant.
How we spend the money
The Watch has a number of regular core activities that are maintained by a small group of Committee members and Volunteers.
It does from time to time undertake other activities, such as Community Speed Watch, but these always depend on additional volunteers being available to organise and support them.
Our Police Team
We have a good relationship and close links with our local Police Beat Team based in Birstall. They attend our Committee Meetings and hold regular Beat Surgeries in conjunction with our Advice Shop.
We publish the monthly Beat News from the Team on this website.