Getting to Know Your Neighbours
Since it started in 1983, one of the key crime prevention principles of Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) has been watching out for each other. In early 2019, Manningham NHW considered the question of how we could get neighbours to connect better and support each other. The outcome of this was a proposal for a Know Your Neighbour program.
Interestingly, in parallel with this, some academic research was carried out looking at the perceptions of crime and fear across a range of Victorian communities. Residents surveyed in the project reported less worry when they felt others in their community engaged in crime prevention activities. Friends and neighbours were mentioned repeatedly in the focus groups as important sources of information about crime and its prevention. The results from the study suggested that perhaps Manningham NHW was on the right track with its program.
So what does the “Know Your Neighbour” program entail? It proposes a series of nine steps to help residents to gradually get to know their neighbours.
A few of the steps are described here
• Give your neighbour a wave - This is easy and it works even better with a smile.
• Say “Hi” to your neighbour - Even if English isn’t their first language, your neighbour will understand. A smile helps here too.
• Offer to “keep an eye” on your neighbour’s property when they are away – Ask them to look out for your property while you are away too.
• Share emergency phone numbers and email addresses with your neighbour – Know who to contact if there is an emergency next door and provide them with the same contact information for yourself.
The last step makes the suggestion that you encourage new residents in your street to join the local digital and real-life community.
For more information about the program go to: nhw.com.au/manningham and go to the Program tab on the Manningham NHW webpage.
SPOKEN TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS RECENTLY?