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NHW Ethics and Standards Guidance

A. The aims and objectives of the Neighbourhood Watch movement include:
1. To increase public participation in the prevention and detection of crime.
2. To promote good citizenship and greater public awareness through Neighbourhood Watch groups.
3. To help increase public and community safety and reduce the fear of crime.
4. To improve police/community liaison.

In order to further these aims and objectives and to ensure public confidence in Neighbourhood Watch, it is appropriate that members of Neighbourhood Watch adhere to these Ethics and Standards Guidelines.

B. Members’ overall responsibilities include:
1. Dealing with other members, the public and other organisations in an honest, open, clear, fair, reasonable and co-operative manner.
2. Ensuring that all matters relating to Neighbourhood Watch and its activity are dealt with promptly and courteously, and not in an inappropriate or frivolous manner.
3. Operating within the law and within the spirit of the law.
4. Making sure that their Neighbourhood Watch group(s) and themselves (where required) are suitably authorised, regulated and have effective arrangements to comply with all relevant laws, rules and regulations.
5. Ensuring that these guidelines are complied with to the best of their knowledge and belief.
6. Reporting any breaches (or reasonable suspicions of breaches) of these guidelines to the relevant recognised and constituted Neighbourhood Watch body in their area.

C. Members should act with the highest ethical standards and integrity.

This includes:
1. Being honest, trustworthy, open, reliable and respectful.
2. Promoting and demonstrating high moral and ethical standards.
3. Behaving in a professional manner.
4. Keeping their promises and commitments wherever reasonably possible, doing their best not to make promises they are unable to keep, and providing a prompt explanation in the event of any failure to honour them.
5. Not taking unfair advantage of anybody.
6. Not bringing the Neighbourhood Watch movement into disrepute or conducting themselves in a manner which might lead to such a situation.
7. Not offering or accepting gifts, hospitality or services which could imply an improper obligation.
8. Being open and transparent about any expenses, fees and costs relating to Neighbourhood Watch matters.
9. Operating in a financially responsible and prudent manner.
10. Ensuring that adequate and correct records are kept.
11. Respecting other people’s privacy, and treating all confidential information as such, including compliance with Data Protection legislation.

D. Members should act in the best interests of each member and the public.

This includes:
1. Encouraging their local Neighbourhood Watch to put proper and fair treatment and overall community safety at the centre of its culture.
2. Basing their decisions on a clear understanding of needs, priorities, concerns and circumstances.
3. Giving all the necessary information of which they are aware to allow people to make informed decisions (provided that information is not confidential).
4. Ensuring that they do not use information from Neighbourhood Watch or any Authorities improperly, or to their personal or business advantage.
5. Avoiding any situation where a conflict of professional or personal interests may exist between them, their employer, their business and/or other parties, and Neighbourhood Watch.

E. Members should endeavour to provide a high standard of service.

This includes:

1. Communicating in a way that is accurate and straightforward, and expressed in a way that people can easily understand.

2. Making sure reasonable steps are taken to ensure that all advice given is accurate and suitable.
3. Not providing advice where they are not competent or qualified to do so.
4. Acting with skill, care and diligence.
5. Acting within their ability and authorisation, and seeking help where necessary.
6. Ensuring that their relevant knowledge and expertise is kept up-to-date.
7. Ensuring as far as possible that those who work with them have appropriate training and supervision, and contributing to their learning and development.

F. Members should treat people fairly and with equal opportunities regardless of:
Race or racial group including ethnic or national origin or skin colour; cultural background; sex or sexual orientation including marital or civil partnership status; pregnancy, maternity or paternity; religion or belief including philosophical beliefs similar to a religion; age; disability or health status; or any political opinions.

G. Treating people fairly and with equal opportunities includes, but is not limited to:
Obeying equality and diversity laws; treating each person as an individual; challenging and reporting unlawful or otherwise unfair discriminatory behaviour and practice; acting openly and fairly; treating everybody with equal respect and opportunity; making reasonable adjustments to assist children and young people, the elderly, the vulnerable, people with disabilities or particular needs, and encouraging others to do so.

H. Sanctions for non-compliance with these guidelines

In the event that a member or coordinator fails to honour these guidelines or is otherwise considered unsuitable to continue to be a member, Neighbourhood Watch may impose appropriate and reasonable sanctions upon any member.

These may include:
1. Withdrawal of recognition as a member of Neighbourhood Watch.
2. Withdrawal of recognition as a holder of any position within Neighbourhood Watch.
3. Reference to any lawful Authority.

If a member wishes to appeal against any sanctions they should take their appeal to the relevant recognised and constituted Neighbourhood Watch body in their area.
For copies of both documents go to the knowledge base on the website