OWL registration briefing

Redbridge NHW, Redbridge Metropolitan Police and Redbridge Council would like to send you occasional messages regarding local incidents, crime prevention information and other police or community related information. We have taken out an annual subscription to a commercial program called OWL for this purpose.

There is no cost to sign up, it’s completely free. All personal information will be stored safely in a secure database and will not be shared with any third parties.

At any point in the future you can remove your details from the OWL database by logging onto www.owl.co.uk or by contacting your local Neighbourhood Watch coordinator.

What is ‘OWL’?

OWL is a means of passing information to you easier and more quickly than ever before.
OWL is a community engagement system that has been developed across various parts of Wales and England over the past ten years, in that time there have been no breaches in security, in fact the system has passed GCHQ tests. It helps communities prevent and detect crime, support one another and be more aware of what is going on in their area. In short, it compliments what you have always done as a ‘Watch’ member or just resident, but uses modern technology and communications to make life easier and simpler for all involved. It is also interactive allowing you to send any messages back just as easily.

Some of those who have experienced OWL in action said it helped contribute to them feeling safer in their homes. As you live in a registered Watch area (Redbridge) we would like to invite you to register for OWL.

Messages, including crime alerts and timely crime prevention advice, are sent out in an instant, sometimes within half an hour of a crime occurring. The system allows messages to be received by telephone, fax, email, mobile phone, flyers or letter so people who do not have access to the internet do not miss out on OWL.

In Redbridge, we are starting to use e:mail only, other methods bear a cost, which may or may not be utilised in the future. So please, add your mobile and home telephone numbers.

One day, we might send SMS messages.

One day, you might be able to speak to Redbridge Police on a "Live" help-line.

But first, we need to walk before we can run.

Some advantages of being part of a Neighbourhood Watch and receiving messages via OWL are:

• Acts as a deterrent to burglars, car thieves and unscrupulous door to door callers
• Discounted home insurance provided
• Neighbours watching out for one another and working together to report suspicious activity
• More direct communication from the police about local incidents (alerts & advice)
• Advice on improving your own home security
• Support from your local NHW Coordinator and your police community support officer (PCSO)
• An added sense of security through being in a neighbourhood watch
• Improved community spirit – get to know your neighbours

What you need to do?

If you have recently joined us...nothing.

If you have been with us for a while:

When you kindly registered your interest with us, we did not foresee the day when we would need your house number (one of the principles of data protection is not to ask for more than you need). That day has now come. More importantly, we need your permission. Your Ward Coordinator may already have the house numbers, but we need permissions.

If you would please log in to your account at www.RedbridgeNHW.info, click on My registration details (the first menu option on the box marked "About Neighbourhood Watch"), select Edit, enter your house number, then scroll to the bottom and tick the data consent boxes. You can leave the rest to us. It is possible to register directly at www.owl.co.uk, but we would prefer that you didn't at this stage.

Why?

Two reasons:

1. You'll miss out on the discounted Crime prevention product offers that we can pass on.

2. If you register at OWL first, then RedbridgeNHW later, we will automatically try to enter you on OWL again, this wastes time and effort.

We are human too, if you have forgotten your password, you can easily request a new one to be sent to your registered e:mail address by clicking on the "Request new password" link at the Login and registration box on our homepage (before you log-in) at RedbridgeNHW.info.

We don't ever try to direct you or try to control what you do (or anyone else), it's a basic premise of NHW as a grass roots organisation, you're the boss. But you can help save some effort.