In the first of two articles, Sadayeen Khan, secretary of Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch (NHW), explains the group’s purpose and why their objectives are more than just tackling crime
Redbridge NHW is a registered charity run by volunteers from within the community. Anyone living, working or studying in Redbridge is welcome to become a member (free). We use Online Watch Link (OWL), a secure email system, to send out security, crime prevention and other advisory emails to our members.
Our volunteers care for our communities and environment. Prevention is better than cure; therefore, we encourage early action to avoid being a victim of crime and suffering the associated financial and emotional costs, and saving the time and stress to put things right again.
We are not the police, nor are we a reporting arm of the police. Therefore, we remind and encourage the public to call 999, 101 or report crimes on the police.uk or crimestoppers.co.uk websites, or through the ‘Report It’ section of the Redbridge Council website.
Redbridge NHW asks members and their neighbours to keep an eye out for each other and report suspicious behaviour, characters and wrongdoing, by calling the police or informing the council. We encourage members and our communities to look out and watch out for our neighbours, especially the elderly and vulnerable; to support each other and keep their environment clean and tidy. It makes the areas more pleasant to live in and discourages criminality.
We encourage the use of anti-thief and security devices for the home and vehicles, including dash cams, CCTV and doorbell cameras as a means of monitoring and as a deterrent rather than being curtain twitchers. This technology allows people to call the police immediately if they witness an event, or later when the criminals have long gone but have been captured committing crimes.
The electoral boundaries in Redbridge changed in 2018, creating Churchfields, South Woodford, Wanstead Village and Wanstead Park wards. Once the information relating to these changes was available to us, we adapted quickly and have most definitely moved on with interaction with new councillors and redrawn police teams, new IT and automation, whilst still maintaining a human touch through good-old means of communications.
Whilst we are not the police, we do actively communicate with them to inform members of what kind of crimes or criminals are active in their areas. We are also in touch with other charities and can liaise with them if and when needed.