Crime drops by 11 per cent in Neighbourhood Watch areas, NTU research reveals

Residents living in areas covered by Neighbourhood Watch can expect to experience 11% fewer crimes, according to research by Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

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Burglaries have fallen faster in Neighbourhood Watch areas than others

Analysis found that if a household were transplanted from a non Neighbourhood Watch area to an identical area (in terms of population density, poverty, etc.) with the only exception that there was an active Neighbourhood Watch scheme, then this household would experience 11% fewer crimes.

Since the mid-1990s, there has been a significant drop in burglaries according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales. During this period, the research by NTU reveals that burglaries have fallen faster in Neighbourhood Watch areas than others with otherwise identical household and area profiles.

These findings also suggest that vulnerable social groups, including lone parents, social renters and people living in flats and maisonettes, who live within a Neighbourhood Watch area are more protected than others.

The research revealed that 72% of Neighbourhood Watch members live in urban areas, 22% in rural areas and just 6% in inner city areas. However, if asked to join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, households in inner city areas would be the most eager to do so.

John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of the Neighbourhood Watch Network, said: “The evidence is clear. No matter your background, social class, whether you own your own property or rent, you are safer if you live within a Neighbourhood Watch area.

“The modern day Neighbourhood Watch operates in many different ways and is flexible to how people live and work. Some are run entirely online through social media, others have regular face to face meetings. Whatever works for you, works for Neighbourhood Watch.

“If you’re worried about crime in your area or just want to get to know your neighbours a bit better, starting a Neighbourhood Watch could be the perfect project for you. Our website offers a wealth of advice, guidance and help for anyone considering this."

Andromachi Tseloni, Professor of Quantitative Criminology at NTU's School of Social Sciences, authored the different components of the research in collaboration with Professor Ken Pease, Dr. James Hunter and Ferhat Tura.

The news was revealed as part of national Neighbourhood Watch Week, which aims to present a more rounded view of the world-famous movement using the hashtag: #MoreThanYouExpect

  • Notes for editors

    John Hayward-Cripps is available for interview and comment regarding this story. Call 07495 415 380 or email

    1. The NTU research referred to in this release can be found on the national Neighbourhood Watch website:
    2. The Neighbourhood Watch Network is a charity which represents Neighbourhood Watch schemes throughout England and Wales. There are over 99,000 coordinators and 2.2 million-member households.
    3. More information about Neighbourhood Watch, including the ability to join or register a scheme, is available online
    4. The Neighbourhood Watch Network can be found on Twitter (@N_Watch) and Facebook

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students. NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With nearly 32,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. With an international student population of more than 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Survey.

    NTU is also one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

Crime drops by 11 per cent in Neighbourhood Watch areas, NTU research reveals

Published on 21 June 2019
  • Category: Press office; Research

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