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PCC supports ‘A Better Place to Live’

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Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) funding is helping to recruit hundreds of new Neighbourhood Watch volunteers across the Thames Valley

A Better Place to Live, launched nationally on 6 March, is Neighbourhood Watch’s biggest recruitment drive in recent times, aiming to boost community participation and reduce both the fear and likelihood of crime.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber is supporting the campaign, with over £7,000 of funding being used to provide resource packs for new volunteers, helping coordinators to increase their membership and encouraging others to start their own groups. The funding forms part of the PCC’s £25,000 grant awarded to Thames Valley Neighbourhood Watch in April 2022.

Matthew said: “One of my key areas of focus for Thames Valley Police is to strengthen community policing; to tackle neighbourhood crime, anti-social behaviour and help people feel safer where they live.

“Effective partnerships within communities such as local relationships with Neighbourhood Watch coordinators and volunteers play a role in achieving this. Neighbourhood Watch’s committed volunteers work hard to support the police in preventing crime while looking out for and providing reassurance to people in their communities to help reduce the fear of crime.

“I am pleased to support A Better Place to Live to help increase the number of Neighbourhood Watch volunteers and groups across the Thames Valley. 

“Neighbourhood Watch has a great relationship with the police and we want that to continue with new people and areas joining the scheme.”

Paul Adkins, Chair of Thames Valley Neighbourhood Watch Association said: “Thames Valley Neighbourhood Watch are very pleased to support the nationwide Better Place to Live campaign which aims to recruit new members and also provide more support to existing members.

“We would like to thank Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for his generous award, which makes this possible. 

“In addition, we will be running local campaigns and projects across Thames Valley to target specific issues, which we will be announcing separately as they go live.”

The recruitment drive aims to boost community participation, particularly among 25 to 40- year-olds, underrepresented Black and minority ethnic groups, and those in high-crime areas.

The charity is supporting its tens of thousands of volunteers nationally to spread the word in their community. They are doing this by providing printed and digital resources backed up with guidance through online workshops throughout the year. Coordinators are supported to increase their membership and encourage others to start their own groups. Coordinators are also able to support each other in tackling local issues through an online forum and training opportunities.

If you’re interested in joining Neighbourhood Watch for free, all you need to do is sign up at and then request to join a local scheme. If you are already part of a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme, register with the national charity to receive the full membership benefits. If you are a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator and wish to grow your group, visit for a wide range of resources. 

By working together, we can create a safer and more vibrant community. Join the movement today, and let’s make this a better place to live. Together.