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An Garda Síochána



Watch Schemes

An Garda Síochána seeks to co-operate with local communites and representative groups in the prevention of crime through the operation of a number of 'Watch Schemes'. These include:


  • Neighbourhood Watch
    The Neighbourhood Watch (NW) scheme was set up in 1985 to act as a crime prevention scheme for urban areas. It is currently co-ordinated both at local level and centrally through the Garda Síochána Community Relations Section.  There are some 2600 Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in operation nationwide with over 400,000 households involved.  The objectives of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme are 1) to reduce opportunity for crime, 2) to give crime prevention advice, 3) to reduce fear of crime and to facilitate Garda contact with the public.

    More information on the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme is available at the Garda Siochana website and

  • Community Alert
    The Community Alert programme was established by Muintir Na Tíre in 1984, in partnership with An Garda Síochána. Originally a rural crime prevention initiative, its brief has been extended into areas of social inclusion and quality of life issues. There are now 1250 Community Alert Groups throughout the country. More information on Community Alert is available at the Muintir na Tíre website, the Garda Siochana website and

    Download a copy of the Community Alert Strategy 2007-2011 (PDF, 323 KB)

  • Business Watch
    Business Watch involves a partnership between the Garda Síochána and the local business community to prevent and reduce crime. For more details on Business Watch, visit: (MS Word, 158 KB)


In 1999, An Garda Síochána published a national evaluation of overall effectiveness and value for money of the Neighbourhood Watch and Community Alert Schemes (PDF, 457 KB).

Policing Plan 2008

The Policing Plan for 2008 (PDF, 3 MB) sets a number of specific goals in relation to the operation of these 'Watch Schemes':

  1. That a Neighbourhood Watch/ Community Alert committee be established in every Garda division.
  2. That a Neighbourhood Watch/ Community Alert be established in every Garda district.
  3. That all existing Neighbourhood Watch/ Community Alert schemes are reviewed and that issues identified are addressed in Divisional and District Policing Plans.




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