In 1981, SPF introduced the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme (NWS) to encourage mutual care and help among neighbours by having residents keep an eye on each other’s premises, discuss initiatives to mitigate crime concerns and share crime prevention messages. Within this scheme, groups of households known as the NWGs were formed to assist in looking out for all types of crime within their neighbourhood especially within the vicinity of their immediate residence. NWG members will call for Police if they notice any crime in progress or when they spot suspicious activities or persons. This is critical in the early detection and intervention before criminals can cause any injury to persons or damage to properties.
Over time, both the NPP system and the RCs have grown in scope and in sophistication. Thus, the NWS was reviewed in 1996 to leverage the strengths of the existing grassroots network to enhance its effectiveness. On 27 April 1997, Minister of Home Affairs launched the Neighbourhood Watch Zone (NWZ) scheme. Under the revised scheme, NWGs were re-organised into NWZs, formed under the Resident’s Committees (RCs) or Neighbourhood Committees (NCs) of the respective zones. All residents belonging to the particular RC/ NCs zone automatically become members of the NWZ. The Liaison Officer (LO) and Assistant Liaison Officer (ALO) who are grassroots members, will be appointed to run the NWZ within its precinct. Both LOs and ALOs are required to work closely with Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) officers to coordinate and implement crime prevention activities and programmes to address the concerns of the residents in the neighbourhood.
FAQ on NWZ
Q: What is the Neighbourhood Watch Zone (NWZ) about?
A: The NWZ aims to cultivate mutual assistance among residents in the community to look after each other’s home and property, help prevent, deter and detect crime, and ensure a safe and secure home for all.
Q: How does NWZ works?
A: A NWZ Liaison Officer (LO) is appointed to lead the NWZ. The NWZ LO is also a Residents Committee (RC) or Neighbourhood Committee (NC) member. He is assisted by the Assistant Liaison Officer (ALO) who is also appointed from the RC/NC.
The LO and ALOs of the NWZ work closely with the Police officers in their respective precincts to coordinate and implement a wide range of community crime prevention activities and programmes to strengthen the community’s sense of safety and security. They also help disseminate information to the residents and channel feedback from the residents back to the RC or NC and Neighbourhood Police Centres (NPC).
All residents belonging to the particular RC/NC zone automatically become members of the NWZ. Residents need not be NWZ LOs or ALOs to participate in the NWZ scheme.