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Richmond Council and the Met Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams, are urging all Richmond residents to sign up to a new crime and community safety information system, called OWL (Online Watch Link) to help residents keep themselves, their homes and property safe.

OWL supports the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme by bringing together critical crime, public health and safety information into one place and sharing real-time updates with members.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“OWL is a great tool to help you stay informed, know what to watch out for, share intelligence and helps the police catch more offenders.

“The more residents signed up to the OWL Neighbourhood Watch free membership option, the better the borough’s crime prevention advice and information will be.”

Once signed up for the OWL Neighbourhood Watch, members will be added to a watch of the 50 or so nearest homes so they can receive information from the Police, the Council and their Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, such as policing updates, Council community safety updates, scam alerts, COVID-19 advice, crime prevention advice and domestic abuse information). If they choose, members can also report crimes and issues in their areas and respond to alerts with new intelligence.

For those new or existing members wanting to take a more active role in the safety of their local area, there is the option to volunteer to be a Watch Coordinator and help ensure OWL is best used to support unique neighbourhoods.

John Murray, Richmond Safer Neighbourhood Board, said:

“As an experienced Metropolitan Police Volunteer I have been involved in NHW development and management over many years and seen how useful it can be. So the launch of OWL in the borough is very welcome. It can target specific areas with information quickly, alert residents to a problem or danger in their immediate area, and once fully operational can ensure non internet users are kept informed. It can also link all the CCTV in a specific area. It also shows connections with other useful areas of knowledge in the borough. I urge residents to join up!”

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– from a Richmond Council press release - 17 June 2020