The network has 99,000 schemes in operation, covering 2.3m households across England and Wales. Here’s how to take action in your hood. They have been labelled middle-class curtain-twitchers — but if the members of the grassroots crime-fighting scheme Neighbourhood Watch have their way, they will soon be known as local heroes. The organisation, which started operating in the UK in the 1980s, says it is not about being a nosy parker, and points out that tackling terrorism, modern slavery, child sexual exploitation, knife crime and online scamming of the elderly and vulnerable are top of the agenda (along with household burglary). The network has 99,000 schemes in operation, covering 2.3m households across England and Wales — and having one in your area has been shown to reduce crime by up to 26%.