Old Town Watch

Businesses in Hastings Old Town are the heart of the local neighbourhood – many of the shops are homes as well, and the people who run and work in them are committed to making the area as safe as possible.

That’s why Hastings Neighbourhood Watch has teamed up the the borough’s BusinessWatch scheme to provide a unique joint project – Old Town Watch (OTW) – which offers the best of both worlds to business owners and residents alike.

What are the benefits?

Both Neighbourhood Watch and BusinesssWatch have a common motto – ‘stronger together‘.

What this means in practice is:

  • By joining you become part of a local network of people who, just like you, care deeply about the place you live and work. They are there to help you, and, hopefully, you will be there to help them when they need it too.
  • As a member you will have access to important and useful information that can help you stay safe and protect your home or your business. This will include alerts about possible criminal activity – including (for businesses) access to a secure database of known local offenders.
  • Whenever there are key decisions to be made that affect the Old Town the membership of OTW can be surveyed to find what the majority view is and this can be passed on to the relevant organisation – be that the Police, the borough council or the county council.
  • Volunteering days can be easily organised to bring about improvements to the Old Town – a recent example was the repainting of all the bollards in George Street…and don’t forget the hard work being done by the Old Town Traders to get Christmas festivities and shopping days organised and paid for.
  • Resources can be pooled to invest in things that benefit the area – for instance a shared CCTV network could be developed throughout the Old Town with only a small contribution from each business.

What do I need to do – and what does it cost?

All you need to do initially is get in touch with us using the form below.

You will then receive an invitation to sign up for ALERTS (the national Neighbourhood Watch community network and (for businesses) the crime intelligence system called ‘DISC’.

When you receive your invitation e-mail just fill in a few more details and you’ll be a part of the team!

As to cost – for residents there is no charge – so you get all the benefits free.

BusinessWatch membership in Hastings is already one of the cheapest in the country – thanks to historic support from the council and the police, who have always valued it as a great way of reducing crimes that affect local businesses.

Sadly, due to government finances being cut back overall, it will eventually be necessary for the scheme to be financially self-sufficient.

The current £10 per month fee will allow this to happen if enough people join up – and it gives members a wide range of services and benefits – more information can be found here:

However, in these trying COVID times, membership for businesses is currently being offered free of charge, with a guarantee that no fees will be charged until 2022.

These fees will be ringfenced within the overall Hastings BusinessWatch account and will only be used for direct costs of the OTW membership – these would include the £0.20 per month per member which covers the database license fee and a small contribution to the radio Ofcom license and overall scheme administration (maximum of 10% of total membership fees collected).

Importantly however, we will work together to decide on what projects the OTW might want to fund – that way we can decide together on how membership fee contributions might be adjusted to ensure enough money is raised for agreed work that will benefit everyone in the area.