Watch schemes | Suffolk Constabulary

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Watch schemes

There are watch schemes in operation across Suffolk, in urban and rural areas, bringing local people and the police together in an effective partnership to keep their communities safe.

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

Shop Watch

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

There are several Shop Watch schemes in Suffolk, primarily in Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft, Ipswich and Felixstowe.

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

Shop Watch aims to:

  • prevent crime
  • detect people carrying out crime
  • reduce the fear of crime
  • build closer relationships between retailers and the police.

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

Farm Watch

Farm Watch helps people and businesses in rural areas to combat farm-related crime.

Suffolk Police works 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 encouraging co-operation between the farming communities and the police.
  • Offer crime reduction advice 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 with Police Connect.
  • Provide 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. We also offer a step-by-step guide on how to register.

Church Watch

Suffolk Church Watch enables the police to work effectively with custodians of religious buildings.

The Church Watch Scheme aims 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 get advice about rural safety or you can contact a specialist Rural Crime Officer for advice on 101.

Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch is about people getting together with their neighbours to help 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 practical 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.

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.