Watch Schemes | Suffolk Constabulary

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Watch Schemes

There are a number of watch schemes in operation across Suffolk involving members of the local community working in partnership with the police. These reflect both the rural and urban make-up of our county.

You can find out more about each of the watch schemes below.

Shop Watch

Shop Watch reduces and prevents crime and anti-social behaviour, in order to create a safer and more secure environment by gathering, exchanging and managing all information relating to retail crime.

There are several Shop Watch schemes within Suffolk, primarily in the urban towns of Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft, Ipswich and Felixstowe.

Security tools, such as CCTV and radios, are used to share information amongst scheme members about activities of offenders.

The aims of the scheme include:

  • preventing crime
  • detecting those carrying out criminal acts
  • reducing the fear of crime
  • improving police/community relations.

For more information about starting a scheme or being a member of an existing scheme, contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.

For further information please contact Suffolk Police and ask for your local Crime Reduction Officer on 101.

Horse Watch

Suffolk Horse Watch is a scheme set up to connect all horse owners and riders to improve security and communication.

The aim is to reduce rural and equine crime and, just like Neighbourhood Watch, much can be achieved through general awareness and a little effort from each individual. 

You do not have to own a horse to become involved; everybody is welcome, whether you just ride occasionally or own the local livery yard.

Ideally, every horse owner should be on the Police Connect  system to help reduce certain crimes by being aware of them in the first place.

You can join Police Connect here.

The type of information you can expect from the service varies, it can:

  • warn you of local farm/horse/tack related crimes
  • give information of suspicious vehicles/persons
  • ask for intelligence to help us make arrests and warn others
  • give related crime reduction/prevention advice
  • relay other useful police information.

Please note, Suffolk Horse Watch has no connection to any business or company and is run solely for the benefit of the members. To find out more, call 01473 613888 ext 5986 or email: [email protected]

Farm Watch

Farm Watch has been created to encourage those in rural areas to combat farm-related crime.

The scheme allows Suffolk Police to work closely with farmers, warning them about the latest crime trends and what to look out for.

The main aims of Farm Watch are to:

  • Reduce the opportunity for crime by creating a spirit of co-operation amongst the farming communities and the police.
  • Offer crime reduction measures to improve security of main farm building and surrounding areas.
  • Make farmers aware of the possibilities of crime that could occur within their area.
  • Create a fast and effective method of sharing information between scheme members and the police.
  • To assist in providing Counter-Terrorism advice to farmers with regard to the secure storage of chemicals and suspicious vehicles that may be stored in unused farm buildings.
  • Reduce the fear of crime in the farming community.

Farms are encouraged to participate in the Police Connect communication network. This provides a contact point so farmers or their staff can be notified immediately if there is any information which may affect the security of their land, buildings, equipment or animals. The scheme is free and you can complete the application form online to join.

Church Watch

Suffolk Church Watch is a scheme set up to enable the police to work in partnership with custodians of religious buildings.

The Church Watch Scheme helps to keep Suffolk’s churches and religious establishments safe and free from crime.

If you represent a Suffolk church or religious building and would like information relating to your area of interest, you can join Police Connect free of charge and receive messages by text, voicemail or email.  

You can also contact a specialist Rural Crime Officer for advice on 101.

Neighbourhood Watch

The neighbourhood watch scheme is about getting people together with their neighbours to combat local crime.

Suffolk Neighbourhood Watch scheme helps to make our neighbourhoods more secure and our communities feel safer.

The main objectives of Neighbourhood Watch are to:

  • prevent and reduce crime in our neighbourhoods
  • provide reassurance to people in our communities
  • provide appropriate and up-to-date crime reduction advice
  • encourage members of our communities to be alert and watchful in looking after themselves and others
  • act as a channel of communication by passing on information from the police to the community and from the community to the police to help prevent crime.

The Suffolk Neighbourhood Watch Association (SNWA) can give you details on how to join an existing scheme or help set up a new one if there isn't one in your area.