Last year the Sormovo District Neighborhood Watch Group was joined by 17 employees of the Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard. Now the district population often see their district police officers patrolling their respective territories escorted by the members of the Neighborhood Watch Group. However, the patrolmen do not yet wear red armbands indicating their belonging to the Neighborhood Watch Group (still remembered by older residents), however the voluntary assistants to district police officers, if required, can produce a crimson ID card of the Neighborhood Watch Group member
All the volunteers have been verified by the law-enforcement authorities. They were supposed to protect public order at festive mass gathering events in the Sormovo District, e.g., at Epiphany bathing rites, V-Day, the Russia Day and the Day of People’s Unity celebrations. However, the pandemic ruined those plans, and Neighborhood Watch Group members got their first experience while supporting isolation quarantine measures and information activities.
Inviting population to participate in supporting public order is one of the conditions to establish life security in the country, in the city, in the district. Arranging the Neighborhood Watch Group at Krasnoye Sormovo has been initiated by younger workers of the shipyard, and, of course, I could not but support the initiative. We have discussed it with the Administration of the Sormovo District and with the local police station. Now our young people help the district, and this help is appreciated. I am sure that the number of the Neighborhood Watch Group members who voluntarily assist to police in ensuring law and order, preventing delinquencies and crimes in our native district will grow further. It is common knowledge that the good example is expiring.
Welder, Hull Production Shop
Why have I joined the Neighborhood Watch Group? Maybe, I am missing my service. I served over twenty years in one of the units of the Ministry of Interior. That was a vast experience and a special internal impetus. I have joined the shipyard only recently and am engaged in welding of hull sections for vessels under construction. When I saw a notice inviting to join the Neighborhood Watch Group, I was one of the first volunteers to sign in. I felt an interest to the activity that was new to me, and importance of internal development. I like to be helpful to people. Three more people of our squad have also joined the Neighborhood Watch Group: Vitaly Kuznetsov, Roman Savin and Alexey Mironov. Without any prior discussions we made up our minds that this was the right thing to do for us. And we have never regretted. During the pandemic period, we were ensuring that the district population comply with quarantine requirements since parks and gardens were closed to the public. But here in Sormovo we have parks that are used for routine pedestrian traffic by district local people. There we had to explain to people the necessity to keep social distance and not to get together in large and noisy groups, nor to sit around on benches. Awareness-raising activities are our main “weapon”. The Neighborhood Watch Group is a good thing, and advantages of the good thing are always evident. Today we are first assistants to district police officers. I would rather say that during patrolling we watch their backs. There is a big difference when an offender is approached by a sole district police officer or by a team of three people. One need to take into account the psychological aspect of the situation. When any troublemaker sees a team of three, he usually gets more compliant.
Corporate Culture Development Expert
There are only two girls in the Sormovo Neighborhood Watch Group: Anna Platova and me. We never patrol together, usually there is some of the men in the team. We do about five to eight patrols a month, usually for four hours, starting at five or six in the afternoon. Also, I am responsible for interfacing with the local police department, and also for all organizational issues: I receive work schedules of our district police officers, draw shift patterns of our Neighborhood Watch Group members. All this work is done in close collaboration with district police officers and their chief, Alexey N. Rybkin. Our experience is not long yet, however we have surely earned certain positive reputation. At first, people looked at our Neighborhood Watch Group ID cards with incomprehension, but nowadays many people know that there is a Neighborhood Watch Group operating in the district. We, the Neighborhood Watch Group members, make our best effort to contribute to the enforcement of public order, ensuring fewer offences and fewer number of offenders, making streets of the Sormovo District safe for everyone and protecting our elderly people from fraudsters.
Welding Equipment Serviceman of the hull shop
When I was enrolling into the Neighborhood Watch Group, I had to pass a thorough examination of my ID and a comprehensive health check. We were also given a thorough orientation session on our rights and responsibilities. Everything was very serious. During the pandemic, we were to patrol twice a week, either together with a district police officer, or with the police patrol guard service squad. Fairly often, together with our district police officer, we patrol the neighborhood to prevent drinking alcohol in public. For 95% of the offenders it suffices to see the police officer with the Neighborhood Watch Group members to stop their wrongdoing. Those who do not respond to the warning, receive an infringement notice from the police officer. And it happens quite often. However, we would like to have fewer drunks in our streets. It is human to strive for the best, to improve our surroundings: our backyard, our street, our district, our city. It is, most likely, because of that I joined the Neighborhood Watch Group. Because we patrol our district. We patrol Sormovo.
Police Major, Head of District Police Officers Department, Police Department No. 8, Nizhny Novgorod Regional Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia
In Sormovo District there are 34 members of the Neighborhood Watch Group in total, of them, 17 are employees of the Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard. Those young people joined the Group in early 2020, and we immediately engaged them in active operation. With the outbreak of coronavirus infection pandemic, additional patrol guard service squads were created to monitor compliance with quarantine requirements. We established up to ten such squads a day, we recruited new members of the Neighborhood Watch Group, and those members were of great help during that period. Routine work of volunteers is also important. Neighborhood Watch Groups provide assistance to district police officers in fraud preventing activities, visiting troubled homes and responding to the calls from police control rooms. Current situation makes our colleagues often work singly. Significant efforts are required to prevent an offence or to detain an offender. Obviously, it is much safer when at least two Group members terminate drinking alcohol by a noisy group of people in public, pacify a troublemaker or bring a hooligan to the police station to draw up a detention report.
We highly value such assistance to our staff. Neighborhood Watch Group members carry out important awareness-rising work: they inform population about cases of fraud, advise retail staff of distinctive features of counterfeit money, they also help with documentation and deliver summons and call-in notices. At a first glance this work is not exactly visible, nut out joint actions are targeted at protecting law and order and ensuring security of our population. Of course, the recently reintroduced movement of Neighborhood Watch Groups have certain problems. The Group HQ needs additional financing. Also, Group members have no identification signs and, therefore, there is a need to provide them with special uniform. Hopefully this issue will be resolved citywide in Nizhny Novgorod, so that local population can identify Neighborhood Watch Group members and can ask them for help. In fact, Group members are their neighbors who has undertaken the responsibility to protect security of their micro district.
Prepared by Krasnoe Sormovo Plant’s press service
2020 Performance Results of the Sormovo District Neighborhood Watch Group
According to data provided by the Chief Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation for Nizhny Novgorod Region, operation of District Neighborhood Watch Group contributed to reduction of crime rate in Nizhny Novgorod by 8,7% (from 7,953 down to 7,259 cases) in public spaces and by 1,9% (from 4,567 down to 4,479 cases) in the streets.
In 2020, District Neighborhood Watch Group members employed by enterprises in the Sormovo District accounted for over 500 patrol missions and helped to terminate over one hundred infringements of law, like disorderly conduct, alcohol drinking in unauthorized places, etc.