Junior Neighbourhood Watch 

What We Do
Junior Neighbourhood Watch 

Junior Neighbourhood Watch uses fun educational activities and talks to teach primary students about crime prevention, creating safer communities and having positive interactions with police.

What is Junior Neighbourhood Watch 

Junior Neighbourhood Watch is a program some of our groups run in primary schools, together with local police. The program aims to introduce children to crime prevention, creating safer communities, police and Neighbourhood Watch, through talks, discussions and fun activities.  

How did it start 

The very first Junior Neighbourhood Watch started in Preston South Primary School in 1990. Former Preston Area Coordinator Ruth Pagdett came up with the idea to take Neighbourhood Watch to her local schools so that children could understand and practice its objectives and feel responsible towards their local community. 

Each month Ruth, with the support of a local police officer, would give 30-minute talks to each class and safety activities around issues like graffiti, litter, shoplifting, school crossings, Neighbourhood Watch signs and safety at home.  

The program was considered a big success. Kids and teachers loved it. Graffiti and vandalism at the school dropped and crime reporting improved. The following year Ruth expanded the program to another local school, Gowerville Primary.  

Junior Neighbourhood Watch today 

Our current Junior Neighbourhood Watch program started in 2 schools in Mildura in 2015 when Leading Senior Constable Joe Clarke of Mildura police, in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch Mildura, develop the program to get children and young people involved in creating safer communities. It has since expanded to 15 schools across North-West Victoria.   

Encouraged by Mildura’s success, Neighbourhood Watch South Mitchell introduced Junior Neighbourhood Watch into Wandong Primary School in 2017. They now run the program in 11 primary schools in Mitchell Shire, in partnership with local police.  

What does the program aim to achieve? 

The key aims of Junior Neighbourhood Watch are: 

  • Introduce Neighbourhood Watch to children and young people in the community. 
  • Boost Neighbourhood Watch’s profile among children and young people and hopefully grow our local groups.  
  • Educate children about crime prevention, personal safety and road safety and encourage them to share that knowledge with their families. 
  • Help children become more aware of their surroundings. 
  • Introduce children to local police, develop positive relationships with them, learn about their role in society, increase the likelihood they will report crime. 
  • Help children feel safer 
  • Create a safer community. 

What topics does the program cover? 

Topics covered in Junior Neighbourhood Watch include: 

  • Cyber security 
  • The effects of bullying 
  • Crime scenes 
  • Fingerprinting 
  • Road safety 
  • Home security 
  • School holiday security 
  • How to be an effective witness 

What does the program involve? 

The program is conducted by local Neighbourhood Watch Volunteers in partnership with local police. It can be conducted over a day or several weeks and can be tailored to the school, location, year level or time available. 

There are a range of fun and educational activities including:  

  • Safety talks, discussions and quizzes 
  • Taking fingerprints 
  • Crafting a helmet for an egg then dropping it (to show how fragile their head is) 
  • Engraving bicycles. 
  • Creating short films 
  • Junior NHW Student of the Year Awards 
  • Bullying a sheet of paper with hurtful words 
  • Spotting home security concerns 
  • Practicing being a witness to a crime. 

If your school is interested in having a Junior Neighbourhood Program, please email admin@nhw.com.au and we will connect you with your local Neighbourhood Watch group. 

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Neighbourhood Watch Victoria acknowledges the 38 mobs, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live, and gather as employees and volunteers. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

At Neighbourhood Watch, we believe everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome. We are committed to ensuring diversity, inclusion and equity are embedded throughout our organisation – in the work we do, the services we deliver and among our staff, volunteers, and the communities we work with.