HC Deb 03 December 1987 vol 123 c679W
28. Mr. Bright

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many neighbourhood watch schemes are currently operating in Luton.

Mr. John Patten

I understand that there are now about 240 such schemes.

44. Mr. John Greenaway

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans to review the growth in numbers of neighbourhood watch schemes, with particular regard to their quality and the results that are being obtained; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten

Neighbourhood watch is essentially a local initiative and the number of schemes throughout England and Wales has grown to over 42,000 in just five years. The quality and effectiveness of schemes in preventing crime and reducing the fear of crime inevitably varies. It is important that experience and examples of good practice are shared and to this end the Home Office is preparing fresh guidance for the police and the public on the implementation and maintenance of schemes.

48. Mr. Chapman

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will report the progress of neighbourhood watch schemes; and what is his latest estimate of the number of schemes in operation in the Metropolitan police area.

Mr. John Patten

Since 1982 neighbourhood watch has flourished to such an extent that there are now over 42,000 schemes in England and Wales including some 7,500 in the Metropolitan police area. Many of the schemes have been instigated by members of the public and it is this emphasis on the involvement of all members of the community to prevent crime and reduce the fear of crime that makes neighbourhood watch an important element of our overall crime prevention strategy. We shall continue to encourage the growth of these schemes.