Neighborhood watch: pandemic powers a new generation of members

Pandemic drives new generation of Neighborhood Watch members as younger people look to form ‘stronger ties’ with local community

  • There is a big increase in the number of people who join Buurtwachtwacht
  • The largest increase came mainly from younger households
  • This is because the lockdown made them want to be part of their community, experts say

During the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of households joining the Neighborhood Watch Scheme, new research has revealed.

According to data from Go Compare, the largest increase in the number of participants in the schemes was younger age groups.

It found that last year there was a 14 percent increase in the number of 25- to 34-year-olds and a 10 percent increase in homeowners ages 35 to 44 who signed up.

The comparison site added 12.9 percent of its home insurance customers to a Watch plan between March and April last year, compared to the average number of people in the previous three years.

There is an increase in the number of young households signing up for the Neighborhood Watch programme

Ryan Fulthorpe, of Go Compare Home Insurance said: ‘The Covid lockdowns have had such a huge impact on the way we see our homes, and it seems that the communities around those homes.

“It’s not surprising that people want to build stronger relationships with their neighbors and join forces to tackle crime or antisocial behavior.”

Since lockdown restrictions have been eased, Go Compare has slowly seen the percentage of people reporting being members of a neighborhood surveillance system on their home insurance rate decline.

However, there was still a 7.7 percent increase across the board from January and February 2020, before Covid, compared to April and May, in the time since the first lockdown last year.

Fulthorpe added: “The pandemic meant people were in situations they never thought they would go through and at times it seemed like it was never going to end.

“It’s heartwarming to see that one of the responses to this crisis was that people wanted to form stronger bonds in their respective communities and work together as a group.

“Hopefully this is something that we will see continue long after the pandemic and for years into the future.”

Many younger people are thought to have signed up to form 'stronger ties' with their communities

Many younger people are thought to have signed up to form ‘stronger ties’ with their communities

Founded in 1982, Neighborhood Watch is a charitable movement that aims to bring neighbors together to create strong, friendly, active communities where crime and antisocial behavior are less likely.

In England and Wales it has more than 2.3 million members.

Younger people recently wanted to join the Watch because they want to be part of a local community organization to make their community a better place to live, according to the schedule.

John Hayward-Cripps, chief executive of the Neighborhood Watch Network, said: “Young people have been hit hard by the pandemic economically, socially and mentally. Many have been involved and have seen the power of local connected, supportive communities.

“The pandemic has brought us all more digitally together and with this shift we have seen a growth of local online Neighborhood Watch groups that are more accessible to busy young people.

Rooted in communities across England and Wales, Neighborhood Watch is uniquely positioned to help prevent crime, connect people and communities and respond to local problems and crises such as flooding, the environment or the current pandemic.

‘We think it’s great that young people see us as THE organization and we are excited about the energy and enthusiasm they bring with them.’

Many comparison sites ask customers about Neighborhood Watch membership as part of their home insurance quote process, as some insurers offer a discount on premiums if they are members of a local plan.

Members are expected to be actively involved and attend meetings, keep an eye on neighbors’ property and share police information with other members.

The data was based on nearly 350,000 home insurance quotes taken on Go Compare.