Safer Neighbourhoods

What is a Ward Panel and how to become a member

A ward panel is made up of a chair (who is a resident elected by the ward panel members), local residents, stakeholders such as resident associations, community groups, housing providers and local ASB managers. The Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) support the chair and ward panel members by attending the meetings to provide updates on policing issues in the ward, taking in to account concerns raised by Members and responding to questions. The ward panel define local policing issues and agree at least three priorities at each meeting for the SNT to tackle, and then communicate these priorities within the ward. The three top priorities are reviewed at every ward panel meeting to evaluate success, and to update the priorities when appropriate.

Ward Panels are a key feature in Community policing and fully supported by the police, council and Safer Neighbourhood Board. To find out more about ward panels, how to get involved and to ensure they are operating with "best practices" in mind, please review the following ward panel guidance notes 

What is a Neighbourhood Watch and how to get involved

Neighbourhood Watch is about people getting together with their neighbours to take action to reduce crime. They're community initiatives owned and run by their members which are supported by the police but not owned by them, although the police sometimes run them. The schemes work by developing a close relationship between community members and the local police and can help to:

  • cut crime and the opportunities for crime
  • help and reassure those who live in the area
  • encourage neighbourliness and closer communities

Each Neighbourhood Watch is run by a local coordinator who is chosen by the members of the Watch and acts as a link between them, the local Police, Council and other watches and community groups. A Watch can be made up of just a few houses in a street, residents of a square, or a whole estate. This can include specific watches, such as CCTV, businesses, places of worship, hospitals, residents associations, schools and shops.

For more information on how these schemes work, the benefits and advice on running a scheme in your local area, visit the Neighbourhood Watch website.

Here you can find out how to register, how to start a Neighbourhood Watch or see if there’s a Neighbourhood Watch running in your area. You can also make contact with your local Neighbourhood Watch Association or Scheme Coordinator by:

What is Online Watch Link (OWL)?

OWLOWL is a portal used by the Metropolitan Police Service in partnership with local Neighbourhood Watch coordinators to communicate with residents and businesses across the Borough. OWL provides watch members with the latest messages and local crime alerts sent by email, telephone, SMS or fax.  

Tower Hamlets Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams and how to contact them

As well as reporting through the 101 number the local Safer Neighbourhood Teams can also be contacted to report ASB. These are a team of Met Police Officers and Community Support Officers dedicated to serving the local community. If they are on shift and available, the team will respond to ASB incidents. If the teams are not on duty at the time, a voicemail can be left which the team will respond to when next on duty. You can also email your concerns to the SNT, however in an emergency always dial 999.

Tower Hamlets has 20 Safer Neighbourhood Teams. To find out more about what the teams do and how to make contact with them, visit Tower Hamlets Police webpage 

Useful information

The Council, police and partners would encourage the public to reporting ASB and crime issues using the range of services available to them below:

  • Call 999: in an emergency, if there is a crime occurring or there is a threat to life
  • Call 101: for ASB, including drug dealing. If drug dealing is happening outside of a school or playground, call 999
  • Report Crime, ASB and drug dealing online to the Police (for drug dealing select ‘Report antisocial behaviour’ link)
  • Report ASB online to the Council
  • Call Crime Stoppers to report any crime anonymously on 0800 555 111