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Neighbourhood Watch Schemes

Volume 116: debated on Wednesday 13 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has received about the success of neighbourhood watch schemes in the Metropolitan police district.

There are some 7,000 neighbourhood watch schemes in the Metropolitan police district. As my right hon. Friend stated in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst (Mr. Sims) on 8 May, at column 550, the results of the evaluative research of two of these schemes by the Cambridge Institute of Criminology indicated some success in reducing fear of crime and increasing social cohesion but not in reducing levels of crime. There are, however, schemes where a reduction in recorded crime has followed the introduction of neighbourhood watch. For example, on the Ferry Lane estate in Tottenham burglaries were reduced from 30 during the six months preceding the introduction of the scheme to 18 in the six months following its introduction. In the last six months of 1986 no burglaries were reported. In the London borough of Wandsworth an increase in the number of neighbourhood watch schemes from 375 in 1985 to 558 in 1986 coincided with a reduction in residential burglaries from 4,119 to 3,514.