In Australia it’s Neighbourhood Watch, in New Zealand it is Neighbourhood Support and in other English speaking countries it is referred to as Crime Watch or Neighbourhood Crimewatch. However, despite its variety of names, the general concept of a ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ remains the same the world over. Whether you are in South Africa or the United States, a Neighbourhood Watch usually consists of an organized group of citizens devoted to crime and vandalism prevention within a defined area.
Neighbourhood Watch Australasia is the overarching body for Neighbourhood Watch (Australia) and Neighbourhood Support (New Zealand) where the aim of groups is to cut crime and opportunities for crime, help and reassure fellow residents, create a closer community and develop a closer liaison between residents and the local Police.
In Australasia, the concept began in New Zealand where it was introduced as a crime prevention initiative in 1979. The scheme evolved to become Neighbourhood Support New Zealand, a community owned and managed organisation with a wide-ranging interest in crime prevention and community safety.
Pilot examples of NHW were introduced into Australia in Victoria and
Western Australia in the early 1980s and officially established for the
first time in Victoria following a successful pilot in Kananook in 1983.
Neighbourhood Watch Australasia was incorporated in 2006 to promote the common themes between Neighbourhood Watch Australia and Neighbourhood Support New Zealand and to identify common issues and good practice.
Today, Neighbourhood Watch / Support is Australasia’s largest community based crime prevention program.