Neighbourhood Watch & Online Watch Link (OWL)

What is a Neighbourhood Watch?

A Neighbourhood Watch is all about people looking out for each other, identfying suspicious or unusual activity and reporting it to the police. This can help the police solve or prevent a crime happening. The closer the links with the police, the more effective a Watch can be. It is not about being nosey or interfering, but about being a good neighbour and caring about your community.

Who can be in a Neighboourhood Watch? 

Any community or neighbourhood (large or small), can set up a Neighbourhood Watch. Each Neighbourhood Watch is run by a local coordinator. He or she 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, a few households, the residents of a square, or a whole estate.

Can there be different types of Neighbourhood Watches?

Each Watch can be different and with the use of Online Watch Link (OWL), various Watches can be set up to include:

  • CCTV
  • Businesses
  • Churches/Mosques/Synagogues (places of worship)
  • Hospitals
  • Residents Associations
  • Schools
  • Shops 

What is Online Watch Link (OWL)?

OWL logo - large

OWL 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. 

How to become a Neighbourhood Watch Member?

If you and your neighbours want to start a Neighbourhood Watch, or to find out if there’s a Watch running in your area: 

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
  • Contact your Police Safer Neighbourhood Team