Community by consent

Community by consent

We all live somewhere and we choose who to be friendly with in the Neighbourhood. The more people get on, the less friction and the better the quality of life.

The Ourwatch Neighbourhood Watch system, enables a secure, reliable community messaging and membership system, which gives you, the owner, self-governance and control.

All Neighbourhood Watch groups are run by one or more main coordinators, who can use unlimited storage space in their membership panel to keep important documents and pictures. You can also create an external mailing list, serving people who are not subscribed members of your group.

Because your membership system can be jointly administered, continuance is ensured should something happen to the main coordinator because the members are already listed and covered by Data protection regulation.

You can invite or reject members. Rejection should always be avoided whenever possible.

Best of all membership is almost automated in that anyone registering on the system gets the option to join a local group automatically. Gone are the days where you had to go from door to door and sign up members using paper forms. All new members have to do is to go online and sign up and follow the options menu.

All approved groups can be seen online and coordinators can be contacted using the search results and the watch group popping up as local.

This serves those who like to talk and those who find it easier to message, that helps to include everyone. Even those who prefer phone calls can start a calling tree of trusted members.

We all have to go online for everything now and might as well use it for Neighbourhood Watch.

It must be said that the Ourwatch system works best where it is fully supported by the local PCC, in our case MOPAC and also where the police force in the area are subscribed to the system. It does create extra work if police use another system like OWL, which is solely police run whilst Ourwatch is self-governed by the community.

You can be registered with OWL for years and all you will get in many cases is a monthly police newsletter and an invite to the ward panel every three months if you are on the list for it. Better than nothing, agreed.

Ourwatch enables you to grow your community at a pace that’s right for you. This can include all kinds of initiatives like

  • gardening
  • litter picks
  • walking groups and much more

If police are subscribed to the same membership system that also creates your community by consent, then that makes life much easier for all of us.

It must be said that neither the Borough Membership Administrator, MSA, nor the police could see your confidential group communications on Ourwatch, as the access to those is restricted to the watch group owners.