Become an active bystander

Become an active bystander

Our latest campaign asks you to become an active bystander when you feel safe to do so.

Street harassment is on the rise and is often not an isolated incident. We know the long-term impact can harm mental health and change people’s behaviour. Victims often feel guilty, ashamed, and blame themselves. 

Witnessing street harassment and not safely intervening sends the message to those experiencing it that it’s okay and society normalises it. Ongoing acceptance of street harassment contributes to a toxic culture. We want to change this, but we need your help.

Our campaign targets bystanders (those who witness street harassment), be those Neighbourhood Watch members or not. 

The campaign encourages those who see someone being harassed in public to ask the victim if they are okay when they feel safe doing so. Those three little words let them know that they stand by them and that street harassment is never okay.

‘This simple action is a delay technique and part of the 5Ds of bystander intervention developed by Right to Be. By asking, ‘Are you okay?’ we become active bystanders and send the message that harassment is not okay. There are further actions that people can take, but our campaign focuses on the simplest step everyone can take.’  Deborah Waller, Head of Communications and Digital, Neighbourhood Watch Network

Watch this short video, or learn more about what we mean by street harassment, what else can be done about it, and reporting and support for victims by visiting

Visit to download all the resources you might need to support our campaign and share this message far and wide.

No violence over climate protests please

According to multiple news reports, an Insulate Britain protester predicts violence if peaceful protests are stopped. We do not and cannot support such a stance, despite us strongly supporting climate conscience, net zero strategies and imminent changes to support lowering carbon footprints everywhere. A few of them have now been jailed.

The media is full of ideas, progression of new technology, strategies for lowering carbon footprints to zero.

More violence, more disruption will make things worst rather than better. Whilst we strongly support climate positive action through invention of new technology, phasing out of old technology, improving air quality through various measure, we also must understand that people must be able to get food, clothing, medicines, housing and it must be produced, transported. Waste must be collected.

We do not support a complete breakdown of our civilisation to further climate action.

Climate action started well but key public figures who became ‘protestors’ as their main ‘occupation’ do not set good example to children. Our children will serve society the most by gaining excellent qualifications and helping to develop those needed new lifestyles, technologies and life-style methods.

Parents are better off, learning better lifestyles with their children in their every-day activities like changing from driving to school by car into walking, cycling or public transport rather than keep on using the car but going to a protest on the weekend instead. Another great idea is to purchase less throwaway items and recycle and re-use instead.

One recent Neighbourhood Watch competition invited children to design a tree house, which was then built.

We also aim to reduce the production of leaflets in favour of paper-less communication, but this must go hand-in-hand with a general up-take of paperless technology. We must reach all with whatever we do.

Driving protests into more violence over any issue simply increases the burden on society to stop those violent actions, increase law enforcement, produce more containment strategies to keep such protests under control. This alone with reduce the capacity of any society to develop better methods of lifestyle because every person that needs to be used to enforce the law will not be available to develop new technologies.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with our law makers, enforces, who want to give our children a chance to develop and make this earth a place to live for future generations.

Nobody should shy away from reporting unlawful behaviour because it happens within a protest movement.

There are many positive news published daily like

There are many mainstream positives about climate action and those outweigh the negatives.

When I then read articles that Bob Geldoff advises people not to pay their water bills over raw sewage dumping, that brings some sort of legitimacy to a protest. Negligence, which actually and immediately destroys vital natural resources, are precious to people and not paying bills, does mean protesting, but it does not mean being violent and causing a larger existential threat than the damage. With an indirect protest, which doesn’t involve disrupting users of traffic system indiscriminately but is targeted against a service provider by withdrawing payments, which in turn can be dealt with on a legal basis, points can be made, often as a last resort to address shortcomings of service provision.

There is always an often very fine balance on what is and what is not legitimate. Our coordinators and members live in communities and are part of the general population, therefore have interests and livelihoods to protect.

“A lovely guy”

Published from BBC Emad Al Swealmeen, described as lovely guy by a former friend.

Don’t judge people by appearance or looks

“Mr Hitchcott said Al Swealmeen formally converted from Islam at a ceremony in Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. The cathedral, which was the scene of the city’s main Remembrance Day service on Sunday, is a short distance from Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

He said in the years before the attack Al Swealmeen had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act for about six months because of his behaviour with a knife.

Speaking to the BBC, Mrs Hitchcott said she was “just so sad” and “very shocked” by Sunday’s incident, adding: “We just loved him, he was a lovely guy.”

There are no more patterns you can use as guideline as to who is dangerous, likely to become dangerous or dangerous already.

Sitting in a bed of flowers, this man made a bomb and blew himself up. He took a taxi, at the time of the Remembrance celebrations near the Liverpool Women’s Hospital and his home-made bomb blew up, when a hero taxi driver, who realised the threat didn’t allow him to leave the cab, so that the bomb exploded within.

This saved countless lives and the taxi driver David Perry, managed to realise the threat and to escape before the taxi caught fire.

This kind of quick-thinking is essential for all of use.

  • Be alert
  • realise the threat
  • act upon it

We really can’t generalise who is or is not dangerous. We need to go by what is actually happening.

  • Do you hear people talk favourable about
    • terrorism
    • hate speech against anybody
  • Do you notice someone ordering large amounts of fertilisers or other bomb making materials
  • Do you see abandoned and hidden items in public spaces
  • Does a person seem to carry explosive materials?

Join Neighbourhood Watch

As member you get access to many teaching materials, anti-terrorism instructions, life-saving tips. See our other site for more details.

Call 999 in case of immediate danger, report Terror suspicions to ACT, report non urgent problems to police on their website or Twitter.

domestic violence VAWG

domestic violence VAWG

I watch ‘Doctors’, a day-time series on BBC1, which like so many soaps, deals with everyday scenarios affecting people. But in a way, which doesn’t provide answers or solutions but discusses issues, leaving the viewer to come to their own conclusions.

A women (Ani) lived with her dominating and threatening partner (B), a strong male who controlled her. Ani ran out of the house in her dressing gown because one of her neighbours was trustworthy and supportive, she knocked on his door, but he was out at work. Ani then went back to her own house because she did not know anybody else in the neighbourhood and when she went inside, she forgot to close the door behind her, which left it open for B to follow her inside, upstairs and eventually beat her to death.

TV programs of that sort then usually tell viewers to contact them if they feel affected by the issues without actually saying what kind of support they provide.

I once wrote into a similar program but never gotten any useful support.

The thing is, that if there would have been a Neighbourhood Watch in that area, Ani could have gone to other neighbours to ask for help instead of giving up and going back home. Ani obviously wasn’t the type of person, that could generate all sorts of defence mechanisms effectively to escape that threat to her life, she wasn’t quick-thinking and using life-saving resources, she was just a frightened individual needing help.

There was no local Chemist shop in the immediate are providing the ‘Ask for Ani’ service. Ani wasn’t prepared at all times and had her phone on her to call 999.

What could have helped our victim would have been a network of neighbours who would have opened the door to let her in, in her moment of need. Neighbourhood Watch is a valuable and friendly tool, helping those in need and assisting each other.

Keeping safe

Following the Angela Black story on ITV, it throws up a number of safe-guarding issues, which need to be raised.

Angela is a victim of domestic violence and controlling behaviour.

She got approached by someone who embedded paranoid thinking about her husband, who then gave Angela a rifle. Angela then gotten embroiled in a conspiracy to murder her husband.

What is important to note is that we all need to be aware and not get involved in conversations with people

  • we do not know
  • are not accredited by any organisation
  • ask us to use burner phones to contact them
  • frequently meet with us in the street
  • send us letters, which demand money
  • send us emails offering us money for a percentage cut, if we pass it on to somebody else.

These issues alone should be red flags for all of us.

Photo by Scott Webb on

What helps to diminish the risk of being contacted by unsafe people is to have a few principles, which reduce the risk of being manipulated by any type of potentially harmful influence.

  1. Do not accept phone calls from withheld phone numbers
  2. only accept phone calls from callers who registered their number with you beforehand, send all other calls to answer phone.
  3. Do not engage in conversations with strangers in the street

Joining a Neighbourhood Watch group enables you to ensure that you are communicating within a safe network, which is run by responsible people.

When you are already in a vulnerable position, it is easy to get involved with someone who offers solutions, which in fact raise the level of paranoia and danger rather than lower it.

Anybody who pretends to know someone else who wants to kill you or offer you a way out of being killed, even in a domestic setting is a fraudster and dangerous. Such communications must always be reported to the police straightaway.

Always report all threads to life using 999 and general issues of safety can now be reported using this online website Streetsafe, where you can report general issues with safety in any area.

  • If you are a victim and have children, involve social services.
  • You can also call the NSPCC, as violent partners endanger children.
  • Do never accept any violence or threats of violence from any family members.
  • Do never take the law into your own hands nor take part in revenge schemes.

Signing up

Neighbourhood Watch is a huge national system, with over 1.000.000 signed up members and messages reaching 2/3 of the British population.

Whilst the system is being up-graded from V3 – V4, and there are various sign-up options, it depends what page you land up to sign up.

The simplest way to sign up is using this

sign up page

Could it be a scam?

Could it be a scam?

Spent ages today waiting for a cash withdrawal transaction at the Sainsbury’s in Whitechapel store. A man sat behind the machines and I didn’t like that. But because the store is heavily protected with CCTV I went ahead with the transaction.

As it went, I put in the card, making sure that my pin wasn’t visible from any angle, I waited for the money. Usually the machine returns the card with loud bleeps, shortly before the money. And this goes fairly quick.

But this morning, at the cash point, the bank sent me a text that money had been withdrawn, long before the card was returned and the money for that matter.

I nearly gave up and though the card had been swallowed but then thought I wait for the formal notification from the machine that the card had been swallowed, which didn’t come. I only stayed and waited because of the notification from my bank that the money had been writhdrawn.

Eventually, after about 2 minutes, the card came out and the money. But the machine didn’t bleep loudly. I read that there are scams, which slow down the machine so that people give up and then someone standing by collects the cards and money left behind, when it eventually dispenses.

Just wanted to ask you not to leave your card behind in a machine because it is very slow. Don’t use machines in remote places when somebody stands nearby the ATM.

Some ATM scams used today.

New stickers

Our post explained that at least 13% of criminals are deterred when seeing Neighbourhood Watch stickers on a property.

We have taken delivery of new Neighbourhood Watch window stickers, which also double up as reminders for Cyberhood Watch.

If used on hard surfaces in-doors, you’ll only see the Cyberhood Watch stickers. They also peel off. Not to be used outside as they are not water proof.

We distribute the stickers at our drop in sessions or meetings. We note who takes the stickers and how many for our own records, so t hat we can measure how useful they are.