Elections for PCC


Elections for Police and Crime Commissioner are happening in May and we need to ensure that a candidate who cares about Neighbourhood Watch gets into the post.

We need and end to the segregation of schemes, which don’t allow essential data sharing and make it impossible for police to apply the necessary care in the community.

Please read the article for PPCs, which is published here. It shows the important work national Neighbourhood Watch does.

It is only a small minority of boroughs who use OWL. Those using OWL are mainly in London under the funding regime of the current Mayor of London. The rest and vast majority of British areas use Neighbourhood Alert and Ourwatch, providing an effective community relations system. OWL effectively removes data sharing between Ourwatch and the Police. This is due to the cost of running both systems not being met by funding from MOPAC.

It’s volunteers like us who keep the community together and provide the essential link between the community and the police to enable effective crime prevention. We urge you to help us by donating towards our costs.

Neighbourhood Alert, running Ourwatch enable us to get those important crime prevention messages, which OWL does not provide for us. Currently, in Tower Hamlets, only Ourwatch and the THNWA provide assistance to Neighbourhood Watch groups, whilst OWL only functions as mailing list the Met Police use.

The importance of Neighbourhood Watch functions



What is important for our communities, is, that the communities can actually communicate not only socially but also effectively in relation to helping with the reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour.

Since OWL has been introduced, a communications and data-sharing break has occurred, which makes fast and effective inter-change of data impossible.

The Met Police – in some force areas – has effectively abandoned the National Neighbourhood Watch and Alert system, for which they had a license to directly interact with to use instead OWL.

Yet, many people and Neighbourhood Watch groups are registered with Ourwatch and they use the system to communicate with each other.

Because the Met Police – in some force areas – has decided to no longer pay a license fee to use Neighbourhood Alert, which runs Ourwatch, the police can no longer approve Watch schemes on the system.

Using the OWL system instead, there is no actual interaction between OWL and Ourwatch any longer.

The Mayor of London no longer directly funds Neighbourhood Watch groups or Associations either.

Yet we are being told again and again that the police rely on communities and individuals communications to become aware of and catch criminals.

Those volunteering to run Neighbourhood Watch groups and Associations rely on the safety to know that they cannot be attacked by criminals for doing so.

But, because the police no longer actually vet Neighbourhood Watch volunteers, a huge void has opened up to help keep Neighbourhood Watch Volunteers safe in areas where the police no longer work together with the National Neighbourhood Watch Network.

I have just taken the time to read through some statements and policies and Mayoral candidates for Mayor of London and found that none actually mentions Neighbourhood Watch.

Laurence Fox mentions, ‘touch New York style policing’, which sounds good.

What all those politicians forget however, is that on day to day occurrences, the interaction of the community and the police is vital for which Neighbourhood Watch provides the important basis.

What I would really like to see is a Mayor of London who brings the Neighbourhood Watch systems together and provides real funding for Neighbourhood Watch groups and police to work together instead of just leaving it to volunteers to pop up and create schemes out of their own initiative without police backup.

The only structural system we have in place to serve us are the SNT Panels, which meet 3 times per year.

Neighbourhood Watch groups in Tower Hamlets now need to carry out their own vetting of new coordinators, we have to ask to see ID and proof of address and we have to ask frontline volunteers to obtain DBS checks for themselves to provide some clarity as of their status.

In the past, police vetted each new co-ordinator directly, but they no longer do.

What we need is a Mayor who understands what it means to live somewhere and rely on police and community working together. Please support our work by funding it with voluntary contributions.

You decide – build powerful committees


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During our meeting on

12. April 2021, from 18:00 – 20:00

The Glasshouse Community Centre
161 Old Ford Road, London E2 9QB

all those wanting to work more intense on matters important to their local community are welcome to form committees. We can meet as support group because most of us have been victims of crime but we ask only those to come who want to join a committee to attend. We may have to restrict attendance to fifteen people at a time. We will however see anyone from Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch who is in urgent need of support.

Alternatively you can upload your application and proof of ID/address, using this form.

Committees can include

  • Crime prevention
    • building secure cycle storage points throughout the borough
    • better waste collections and prevention of rubbish dumping
  • knife crime reduction
    • support better work with local pupils to stop carrying knives
  • Working with police
    • Get more and regular patrols
    • CCTV / surveillance
    • crime reporting
  • Building community groups
    • Create Neighbourhood Watch groups in your area
    • how to protect yourself
  • Tech development
    • Building a Neighbourhood Watch App for Tower Hamlets
    • Social media representation

The list is endless, it really depends on what you want to engage with.

All we ask is that you

  • Do not want to use your participation to further any particular political direction
  • You become a member of the THNWA
  • Provide proof of address and ID

We ask you to wear a face mask during the meeting, unless exempt.

We cannot serve refreshments at the meeting due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Please bring your own water in an enviro-friendly container.

Please bring a pen and bring hand gel. We’ll make disinfecting wipes and sprays available for surface cleaning.

The NHS QR code for premises entry will be available at the door.

See relevant government guidance on support groups here. See guidance on use of community facilities here.

Government Covid-guidance for support groups:

Support groups

Support groups that have to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. Support groups must be organised by a business, charity or public body and must not take place in a private home. All participants should maintain social distancing. Examples of support groups include those that provide support to:

  • victims of crime (including domestic abuse)
  • those with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour
  • those with, or caring for persons with, any long-term illness or terminal condition or who are vulnerable (including those with a mental health condition)
  • those facing issues related to their sexuality or identity (including those living as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender)
  • those who have suffered bereavement
  • vulnerable young people (including to enable them to meet youth workers)
  • disabled people and their carers”

Violence against women and girls consultation



Please be aware that, following the sad case of Sarah Everard, the Home Office has re-opened and extended the consultation period on violence against women and girls to allow more people to share their views and personal experiences.  Responses will help to shape Home Office strategy – please see how to access the survey in the link below.


Information on the consultation is as follows:

This call for evidence has been reopened to reflect the recent public discussion about Violence Against Women and Girls to provide an additional opportunity to feed into the consultation.

We are seeking your views to help inform the development of the government’s next Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy. We are particularly keen to hear from people who may feel underrepresented in previous strategies or who feel their circumstances were not supported by existing services.

In addition to those with lived experiences of these issues, we are also seeking the views of those with expertise in working with victims and survivors, those involved in preventative activity, and those involved in providing services. This includes relevant professionals, such as those working in social care, education, law enforcement, local government, public health and healthcare.

Everyone aged 16 or over is welcome to contribute to the call for evidence, you do not have to have experienced violence or abuse to take part.

The call for evidence is also available in British Sign Language.

You can participate in the call for evidence by completing the public survey.

The survey is also available in an Easy Read survey below and responses can be provided to VAWGStrategy2021@homeoffice.gov.uk

We also welcome additional submissions from academics and others who have interest and expertise in violence against women and girls. Written submissions can include the contribution of published data, research, and other reports of relevance to violence against women and girls. Further information on how to provide a written submission is available in the attachment ‘Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy 2021-2024: call for evidence’.

We would like to advise you that the closing date is Friday 26th March 2021 and would like you to share this with your members, coordinators and communication networks. 

Superb crime prevention from Commander Barnett

Our new Central East Commander Marcus Barnett, receives our congratulations for showing a great reaction to a threat that was posed onto our community, the East London Advertiser reports.

Commander Marcus Barnett, Tower Hamlets and Hackney

Raids on eight addresses across East London were carried out on 11. March 2021, whereby six men and two women, aged between 18 and 22 years of age were arrested under ‘suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder’.

These raids followed investigations after shots were fired in Pownall Road, Haggerston on 31. January 2021. Luckily no injuries occurred on that occasion. However, Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett is warning that police will “relentlessly pursue those who so brazenly commit offences” that put the public in danger.

We congratulate our Commander on the wise crime-preventing action in this case.

Commander Barnett, whose Central East Command covers Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney, said: “Discharging a firearm in public and targeting others in the street is an incredibly reckless act. Thankfully no one was hurt, but that could have been a different story and we could easily be investigating a murder.” 

If you know of weapons being kept illegally but don’t want to come forward for fear of reprisals, you can report totally anonymously directly to us.

Or you can report directly with your details to the Met Police.

Dog theft


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We’ve had reports of dog thefts increasing in Tower Hamlets. It makes sense to join the efforts of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, who have created an online survey designed to understand the
public’s perception of dog theft, enforcement, and the prosecution of offenders.

The survey includes a question seeking views on whether dogs should be treated in law merely as property when they are stolen. Having a common understanding of how the public feels about this issue will help inform discussions that PCCs and NWN will have nationally, as well as allow police forces to better understand the public’s views. Mrs Bourne said: “Pet theft, dog theft in particular, is a growing concern for the public and their fear has been perpetuated over the last couple of weeks with shocking reports in the media of more dogs being snatched by criminals. “I am incredibly eager to get more detail around this issue and understand residents’ views and if they feel more could be done to respond to their concerns or for more preventative measures to be put in place to better protect their pets.”

Neighbourhood Watch Network have just been approached to help support this campaign so apologies for the short notice as the survey closes on Friday12th March.  Please, if you can, and haven’t already, take a couple of minutes to complete the survey as your support and views are really valuable to us.

Link to survey is here:https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dogtheft

Really anonymous crime reporting


We are offering a new service for Tower Hamlets. Anonymous crime reporting specific to this borough. If it happens in E1, E2, E3, E14.

We do not track any information from you, no IP number, no phone, no email address. You can submit pictures, documents or write what you know on a piece of paper, photograph it and upload. If you do not use hand-writing its impossible to trace.

Lets turns the tables on crime and stop feeling as perpetual victims of clever criminals.

Report it! by going to this link.

All you need to supply is , date, time, place, any other information and up to three evidences. Then create your own reference.

As easy as 1, 2, 3.

Keep a record of your reference and time and date and if a reward is paid for the information leading to the prosecution we will give you two thirds of the reward or £50.000 (maximum), whichever is the highest. As an organisation we rely on donations. All references, which attract a reward will be published on this website and you need to contact us to show that it is you who made the report by giving the time and date of your report and perhaps some details. We’ll pay your reward to you once we’ve gotten the funds.

We accept reports on all types of crimes, including domestic violence and. You may submit

  • voice recordings
  • pictures
  • documents
  • video

Public meeting on 22. June 2021

Venue: The Glasshouse, 161 Old Ford Road, London E2 9QB


18:00 – 20:00

Persons pledged attendance to date:

  • The Mayor John Biggs
  • Chief Inspector Christopher Scammell, Met Police


  1. Welcome and introduction
  2. Attendance and Apologies
  3. Up-date on issues from previous minutes
  4. Neighbourhood Watch Register with THNWA
    1. Type of Watch groups
    2. Ourwatch
    3. OWL
    4. Paper register
    5. What THNWA can offer local watch groups
  5. The Power of Hello Campaign
  6. Crime reporting and how efficient is it?
  7. SNT Panels in 20 wards and crime rates
  8. Issues affecting our Neighbourhoods
    1. Houseboats
    2. Homeless people
    3. Bike storage
  9. Any other business
  10. Desired meeting frequency and date of next meeting

Chair: Martin Shortis; Vice-chair Alan Trench; Secretary and MSA Johanna Kaschke

Up-dates on this meeting on https://towerhamletsneighbourhoodwatch.wordpress.com/

Meet the committee



Our meeting on 12. April 2021 has been changed to adapt to the current Covid-19 conditions. Community Centres can re-open on 12. April and so we are very happy to invite all those who want to meet out committee members to our community centre.

Venue: The Glasshouse Community Centre, 161 Old Ford Road, London E2 9QB. Map also on this website.

Time from 18:00 – 20:00

Whilst we want those to attend who want to find out more about joining our committee and start new sub-committees, we would welcome your attendance. There could be committees on

  • Cycling and cycle safety
  • or victims of anti-social behaviour
  • protect our flower beds and green areas from vandals
  • any other ideas most welcome

this list is merely a suggestion, you may have other ideas.

Please look into our membership conditions before you attend.