How to become a watch coordinator

We have altered the focus on recruitment from seeking coordinators to seeking individual residents. This is the difference between Neighbourhood Watch and Community Watch.

We believe the whole community should be involved in reducing crime, not just members of watches.

That said, we still encourage Neighbourhood watches to be formed, as a watch coordinator is the ONLY person that can reach the elderly and vulnerable on their roads.

The role is not time consuming or onerous. We'd be surprised if a watch coordinator spends much more than 2 hours a month attending to their neighbours.

Step 1. Register at this website.

Look for this box on the home page (top right), select Create new account.









If you are unsure which Ward you live/work in, please click on your My Details tab on, your ward will be shown as part of your address.

On the registration form, you will see an option to indicate your status:

If you select the last option "Not yet", you will be given access to the Coordinator's menu and will receive two e:mails:

1. To set a password (from the system). These sometimes get waylaid by spam filters etc. If you don't receive it, please drop a line to, we'll sort it out over the phone.

2. A welcome mail, suggesting that you read through the "Developing a Watch" guide, so that you understand fully, what we do and more importantly contact details of your local Ward Coordinator (they will "take you under their wing" and guide you through the process of setting up a watch). They will also periodically send you a copy of the ward terrain file, showing you progress on the ward and contact details of other watch coordinators nearby.. If you don't receive this, please let us know:

Details of other useful contacts will appear on the 'local" tab on OWL.

Step 2. Engage with your neighbours

This always would have been the first step on signing up as a coordinator, by doing this before signing the dotted line, your path into coordinatorship will be far smoother. You will discover whether your neighbours are interested before you take on the responsibility of running a watch. How you do this is up to you. It depends very much whether your neighbours have access to the Internet or not. It doesn't matter whether they do, you will be the one to look after them.
Of course, if you can encourage them to register too, this will be a bonus for you as you won't have to worry so much about keeping records of your watch members.

They can join here, or directly on If at this website, they will see far more by way of crime prevention advice.

In Redbridge, we do not set up watches without sufficient neighbours registered on OWL. As a rule of thumb, sufficient means at least 12% or 6 in 50 houses. This demonstrates local interest and is a safeguard against wastage of valuable resources.

Step 3. Let us know

When you are happy that the substance of a watch is there, please e:mail your local Ward Coordinator (details under NHW Ward coordinators - by Ward, on the Contacts tab). You may need to work out with them just how much of a long road you would be willing to cover, we would prefer longer roads (over 80 houses) to be split by postcode, as on OWL. We will then start the process of registration. This may involve a check by the Police.

Step 4. Return your completed PNC check form to Please complete the form using Microsoft Word and save the file with your own name, e.g. John Smith.Docx. , if you have difficulty, just send the important bits by regular e:mail please (only to

The Borough Chairman will contact you and arrange to deliver your street signs and window stickers.

Step 5. Enjoy your role

You are about to become a key member of the community, people will come to you with all sorts of issues. In time, and with the guidance and support of the Police and your Ward Coordinator, you will be equipped to handle most things that happen on your Watch.

Remember four things:

1. Not all crimes are reported to the Police. If they were, the Police would be far happier. This is a key point for you to note.

2. The police are not omnipresent. They have to prioritise.

3. Our role is NOT to complain about the Police, but to help and support them. They have a difficult enough job as it is.

4. Ward Coordinators are there to help and support you, not to offer their opinions. You are the boss, it's your watch and your decisions are the ones that matter.