If you are a Trader Association or Shop Watch, Business Watch, Commercial Watch – or any other sort of watch type group you can join the Neighbourhood Network by completing and returning the Registration Form.
How to start a new commercial group
Commercial groups comprising of shops, businesses and pubs can be set up by any business person and any in any area. It can be very simple to do, and doesn’t have to cost anything. Once your group is set up you can join the Neighbourhood Network.
These are some things you can do to set up a scheme:
1. Identify an area to set up a scheme. Your group can be any size, but it is best to start with no more than 30 other commercial partners. This works well on business parks, shopping parades or built up commercial areas.
2. Find out who is interested in helping to set up and run the group. Arrange a small meeting with other interested parties in partnership with the local Neighbourhood Policing Team. Explain the benefits of being part of a group including:
- developing strong links with the local Neighbourhood Policing Team;
- developing better intelligence sharing between group members and the police;
- support with crime prevention and safety of premises;
- shared investment and better buying power for security measures; and
- groups can often be eligible to apply for incentives not available to individual businesses or premises.
Not every business has to join in the set area, but the more the better.
3. Distribute Questionnaires to all the businesses and to call back within a couple of weeks to collect the questionnaires. You can keep the forms for their own use; you do not need to pass them on to anyone.
4. Set up a system to communicate with your group members. Groups work well if the organiser has an email distribution list of all members who have email addresses. You will get information from the Neighbourhood Network and police etc by email and you can distribute it to your members by passing the email on.
Some members will not have email. You can help by asking neighbouring businesses to pass messages on to their counterparts without e-mail.
If you don’t have email, try to find a member of the group who can be the email link for the Neighbourhood Network.
5. When the forms are all collected you can - if you choose to - organise a start up meeting for all the businesses. You may need to use a public building or community hall etc. The agenda may include introductions, some basic information about the group, a few words from the partners and a discussion about local priorities.
It is good to have a couple of project ideas e.g. business radio partnership, property marking events, a rollout of business crime reduction surveys conducted by the police, speeding, parking, lighting, environment improvement, staff safety events or simply a get together.
A representative from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team or another community safety partner can talk about local priorities and help your group with the chosen project.
6. Apply to join the Network. Just complete and submit the Neighbourhood Network Registration form
7. If you are a Business/Shop/Pub Watch Group you can register your group on the Ourwatch website http://www.ourwatch.org.uk/. Once you are registered you can sign in and get starter information, posters and leaflets through them.
8. Once your group is up and running and registered with the Neighbourhood Network you can get the following:
- monthly Community Safety updates telling you what has happened in your ward area;
- regular community safety information;
- details of funding opportunities;
- information on how to set up a business radio network;
- support from community safety partners;
- incident alerts; and
- appeals for information.
9. If you want you can have regular meetings of a small group of people who are particularly interested and meet up to plan activities it is worth inviting a member of your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.
You will also be invited to public meetings to represent your group and influence local community safety priorities in you area.
To find out more, or if you want to talk about it first, or help along the way just call (01482) 300300 and leave your details and we will get back to you. Or you can email your contact details and address to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get in touch to help you get a group going.
When your group is set up we would be grateful if you would help us provide a fair service by completing a few equality monitoring questions about yourself.