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Streetwatchers reclaim the streets in Weyhe


Thomas Kues, head of the police in Weyhe, considers the project a big success. Crime statistics show that the number of calls for police action, and the number of vandalism incidents, have decreased significantly.

Moreover, partnership working between the police, the streetwatchers and youth services has improved. Often, citizens ringing up the police to complain about anti-social behaviour – for example, some noisy neighbours – are passed instead to the streetwatchers, since they are much better skilled at de-escalating conflicts. This allows the police to focus their resources on serious crime issues.

Local councillors have also become very supportive. When Günther Meyer and Marcus Grosser presented their first report on the activities of the streetwatchers in March 2010, even the most sceptical councillors praised the project.

Most importantly, young people in Weyhe also now have a very positive view of the project. In interviews, local young people stressed that they just want to use public places to ‘chill out‘ –  they certainly don’t want trouble with the police. However, at times there have been some trouble-makers, who have been hard to control – so they appreciate help in this. Most young people now appreciate that streetwatchers don’t approach them with negative attitudes. The high level of trust built up between the streetwatchers and young people mean that they are often called for help in issues such as bullying, drunken friends or personal relationship issues.

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Günther Meyer


Marcus Grosser


Günther Meyer and Marcus Grosser wrote this case study for Governance International in October 2011. The case study was updated in October 2014.

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