At WABP (WhatsApp Neighbourhood Watch in Dutch), a WhatsApp group is used to work together with your neighbours, towards a safe and livable neighbourhood.
Each group is overseen by a group manager, who will see to it that members of the group will abide by the rules of the group and add members that apply.
Together, neighbours will inform each other of alarming or suspect situations in the neighbourhood. When such a situation escalates, the member of the group that spots the incident, reports it to the police and afterwards announces it in the WhatsApp group itself, also stating he/she has already informed the authorities.
It is a low threshold way to improve safety in the neighbourhood and be informed of what occurs, incident-wise.
Only alarming situations should be reported in the group, irrelevant messages posted will unnecessary bother other members and they even might leave the group if too much nonsense is posted. The group manager will see to it that members who do not take the group seriously, will be warned or even removed from the group.
WABP is a platform that offers these WhatsApp Neighbourhood Watch groups a way to make their groups visible and findable, in whatever region they are active. The number of civilians that join neighbourhood initiatives like this grows daily. It is often difficult to see what initiatives are active in a certain region, because the use different platforms to promote the groups. That’s why WABP has chosen to create a website, that gathers up all these initiatives and shows them on an easily accessible map. One just needs to track his neighbourhood on the map and check what initiatives are active nearby. By clicking on and filling out the application form, one can easily join one of these groups.
WABP/ Neighbourhood Watch through WhatsApp has already proven itself in the Netherlands. Almost 600.000 civilians are active through 8.300 groups all over the Netherlands. They are in close contact with the authorities and have aided in many alarming situations.
Visibility of the WABP group is a large part of its success. Signs on the street that show it’s inhabitants are actively keeping an eye out for suspect situations, are more likely to be avoided by burglars and such. That’s why, through WABP, we also provide street signs and stickers (for on your door or window) to show that neighbours are vigilant.