Joining your local Neighbourhood Watch offers the benefit of a safer community. But what does it mean for your home insurance?
If you're not a member of the Neighbourhood Watch already, then you've probably heard of the scheme. Or seen the round sticker with the smiley bobby and the happy community members.
But joining the Neighbourhood Watch is about more than getting a nice sticker.
It's about creating a community where its members can feel safe.
And what most people don't realise is that it could also reduce your home insurance premiums.
What is Neighbourhood Watch?
It's a group made up of police, charity volunteers and members of the public who wish to create safer communities.
The aim is to reduce the fear of crime in the area through better home security measures, the reporting of crime and suspicious behaviour and good old-fashioned community spirit.
But more than that, the Neighbourhood Watch forms an integral part of the Home Office’s crime-reduction strategy.
It's also considered to be the biggest and most successful crime-prevention initiative ever released.
The Neighbourhood Watch Trust was established in 2006, and is shaped and run by its members.
They are supported by a Neighbourhood Watch area coordinator, and a local crime-prevention coordinator at their nearest police station.
There are around 170,000 of these schemes currently active across the UK. Quite a lot, then!
So what does the Neighbourhood Watch do?
The aim is to provide a support network for communities to:
Step up the security of their property through shared advice.
Increase vigilance, and build a network of crime reporting and ‘human home alarms’ in order to keep the local area more secure.
Provide a network for the police to pass information to communities regarding crime trends or possible issues in their area.
Generally build a greater feeling of community in local areas.
If you're looking for more information, the Neighbourhood Watch website is a really useful resource.
They've got loads of useful packs and information on there, such as:
when and how to make a call to the emergency services
how to spot and deal with bogus callers
tackling distraction burglary
protecting your home from fire
They also cover topics such as making your community a safer place to live, and the importance of mobile and internet safety.
And membership could reduce home insurance premiums, you say?
Yes, indeed it could. Being a member of your local neighbourhood Watch group could reduce the price you pay for your home insurance.
Most home insurance companies will ask if the policy holder is a part of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
If you are a member, you're part of a group who are there to keep a neighbourly eye on you.
This could mean that insurance companies will view you as someone who is less likely to become a victim of crime.
Not all insurers will provide a significant discount for members. But many do.
As you're seen to be taking active steps to keep yourself and your home safe, your insurer is likely to take this into account.
So let your chosen insurance company know if you're a member of the Neighbourhood Watch.
And see if you can save money on your home insurance.