For decades Neighbourhood Watch has kept communities safe from local crimes such as thefts and burglaries.
Now they’re taking the fight online as they launch a new initiative to tackle cybercrime.
The Cyberhood Watch will address the growing challenge that cybercrime poses to local communities who often don’t have a ready resource for information on keeping themselves safe from the latest scams, said the NW.
Research from over 14,000 Neighbourhood Watch members, carried out in conjunction with Avast, a cybersecurity leader in the UK, found that over a third (34 per cent) believe cybercrime is now a bigger threat than physical crime, and half (50 per cent) think the threat level is similar.
The new initiative will provide online cybersecurity awareness courses to help inform and protect 2.3 million households across England and Wales.
With over 90,000 volunteers there will also be a training and accreditation scheme for local NW representatives, local informative events, downloadable guides and resources, and ongoing sharing of information about relevant emerging threats.
Robin Sutton, 66, has been a Neighbourhood Watch representative for Cambridgeshire for 15 years and said the purpose of the voluntary movement is “changing a lot”.
He said: “We’re getting away from this old fashioned notion that we’re a bunch of curtain twitchers, which we’re not. The crime prevention side is extremely important.
“We’ve dealing with more modern crimes and things like domestic abuse, social media and cyber crime and modern slavery.”