VISAV Valuing MSAs

In short, a Multi Scheme Administrator (MSA) is a volunteer administrator who is granted access to a set of Neighbourhood Watch scheme management tools in order to manage more than one Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) scheme to keep the details on the schemes up to date.

But who are the people who would give many hours to their communities and to support their local police forces and, in many cases, do so much more? Scroll down and read about the supportive community work some of our Top MSAs are involved with.

Currently over 300 volunteer MSAs support Neighbourhood Alert, to varying degrees, and we (VISAV) regularly show our appreciation as we have shown below. Mostly recently following Team GB’s brilliant success at the Tokyo Olympics.

Christmas 2020 we sent gifts to our most active MSAs and have received thank you emails (as below).
"Many thanks for the chocolates for Christmas it is very much appreciated. My wife and I will enjoy them. As I have said on many occasions your service and Alert database is PERFECT! I find it very useful and probably due to lack of knowledge I use 45% of the features. Your service to us (directly) is brilliant and the database is exactly what I need to keep on top of things as it is so busy at the moment.)

You may not know but I sold computer systems all over the world for 25 years, so I know what it is like working in a company like yours.
So, on behalf of ECNWA may we wish you a good Christmas and a safer 2021."

- Clive Stewart
Chairman and Secretary
Essex County Neighbourhood Watch Association
"Wishing you and the VISAV team well for Christmas and the New Year!! Hope you enjoy a safe and healthy break. Just wanted to add a thank you for the chocs gift which arrived yesterday. It is very thoughtful."

- Nick King
Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Watch Association
"Thank you so much for this unexpected and really delicious gift.  It is so kind of you to acknowledge my effort in this way and much appreciated.  I will of course work twice as hard next year!!

- Mary Shead
Devon & Cornwall Neighbourhood Watch
"A package containing two Christmas selection packs has just arrived from you.
Very many thanks.
Best regards"

- Geoff Pegg
High Wycombe Neighbourhood Watch
"Thank you and I wish you also a Happy Christmas too.
Best wishes

- Val McPherson BEM
Thames Valley Neighbourhood Watch
"Thank you for the unexpected gift, much appreciated.
May I wish you and your staff a Happy Christmas and all the very best for a happier New Year."

- Christine MacKenzie/NHW Area Support
East Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Watch
"Thanks for the festive gift you sent up Mike. Really appreciated.
Please pass on our best wishes to all the team at VISAV and hope you all have a good and safe Xmas.
Here's to a better and exciting 2021."

- Willie Clark
Neighbourhood Watch Scotland

To be timely with the national Neighbourhood Watch Week 2020 we sent out a gift along with a thank you letter and NHW cards to distribute in their neighbourhoods. We also invited many of our top 100 to share how they originally got involved, and why, and what their volunteering journey looks like. We hope that you find their stories as inspiring as we do.

Geoff Pegg, SCAMBassador and Director of Operations of Wycombe District Neighbourhood Watch Association

Geoff Pegg Geoff said of the MSA role, “Becoming an MSA came about as a result of Val McPherson, then Chair of Thames Valley NHWA, asking me to do so.  This was particularly valuable as it gave me full access to the database re our Co-ordinators etc and it also enabled me to send out my own Alert messages which I do to this day on a very regular basis – every few days.”

And when I asked Geoff why he devotes so many hours to this role, he answered, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my 22 years in NHW...


Martin Stilwell, Chairman of Woking NHW

Martin Stilwell Martin has been performing the MSA role in Surrey for 5 years. He started out by taking on the role in his home borough of Woking and building his skills up in using the Neighbourhood Alert system. The Surrey and Sussex Police had defined their own version of the NA system by that time and called it InTheKnow. Police staff – officers, civilians and volunteers – started to use the system to replace an in-house one that Surrey Police had allowed to lapse. This meant that no existing data was carried over to InTheKnow and that was the first job the MSAs and borough NHW teams tackled, which required the existing membership to be persuaded to register on the new system.


Clive Stewart, Chairman & Secretary, Essex County Neighbourhood Watch Association

Clive Stewart When asked why Clive likes the Alert database and being an MSA, he told us, “The Alert system enables me to be on top of who are new members or co-ordinators of new Groups who register as Neighbourhood Watch in any area in Essex.

This way we can make contact to “approve” their membership and give them support with items and funding as appropriate e.g. Streets signs, wheelie bin stickers, members guides, window stickers, local newsletters.


Lynn Farrar, Chair, Derbyshire Neighbourhood Watch Association Trust

Lynn Farrar VISAV were pleased to hear, from Lynn, that numbers of registrations on Alert are now at an all time high in Derbyshire and they are receiving good reports from their members who are happy to have Alert back (a casualty of Austerity in 2015) and to get the information on local crimes again.  Lynn praised PCC, Hardyal Dhindsa, who realised the importance to their members and negotiated with VISAV to reinstate Neighbourhood Alert. This happened three years ago and now all their officers have access to Alert on their hand held devices.


Kevin Evans, MSA East Cambridgeshire

Kevin Evans Kevin told us, “I moved to Ely in 1993 and within a few months set up Neighbourhood Watch in my street. Back then emails were almost unheard of and communications were by notes put through letter boxes. 

In our district, Neighbourhood Watch was run for many years by a retired police sergeant. He resigned without warning in late 2007 and passed his files to me. I quickly established an executive committee for the district, and one of our prime objectives was to increase the coverage of neighbourhood watch within East Cambridgeshire which had recently dropped to 87 registered coordinators.


Angela Money BEM, Chair of Newbury South West Neighbourhood Action Group/Community Forum

Angela Money BEM Angela was honoured with the British Empire Medal 5 years ago for her voluntary services to the Police and local community.   She was also the joint winner of the West Berkshire Council Community Champion Award 2014 in the Volunteer of the Year category.

Angela was self-employed offering Secretarial and Administrative Services from home and working on contracts at local companies.  She joined Thames Valley Police in 2003 as a Neighbourhood Watch Administrator working at Newbury Police Station and in 2007 decided to retire.


Alan (Community Alert Volunteer)

Alan started Volunteering for the Police about 8 years ago but asked to do jobs only if a paid person couldn't do them.

He told us, “I used to go into a Local Station as a volunteer doing anything that's required from filing to computer work but with restrictions in place and my age have been unable to do that (and orders from my daughters).

Community Alert came about because my Police Supt. daughter, Jenny, thought it would be something for me to do in a station, if there was nothing else that needed doing and I could do it at home and it didn't affect paid people. I like spending time on the computer, so it is ideal for me.


Derek Pratt, Deputy Chair for Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Association

Derek Pratt Derek got involved in Neighbourhood Watch as a street co-ordinator in the early 2000s, and quickly found himself being asked to join the Committee of Crawley NW, then to become its Deputy Chair, and then to become the Deputy Chair for Sussex. He also joined the then Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Search Teams, which have since transformed into the Sussex Community Search Team, which he now Chairs. He is also a vetted Police Service Volunteer.


Brian Adams, MSA in Basingstoke

Brian Adams Brian told us, “I've been involved with Neighbourhood Watch for over 30 years, from member to coordinator & after months of police vetting, in late 2011, to Police Support Volunteer for Neighbourhood Watch liaison over the whole Basingstoke police area.

I'm also on the local Neighbourhood Watch Association committee where we have our own website & coordinator database.


Gill (Derbyshire MSA)

Gill got involved with Neighbourhood Alert around ten years ago. She told us, “the administrator’s job is not onerous, although it takes some time to fully understand how it works. Speaking for myself, I feel that this is a contribution I can make, as someone who is fairly sedentary, that will help in policing Derbyshire.

Each member can respond to the message I have sent, giving valuable help and information on such things as scams. Police, the Police Crime Commissioner, and Action Fraud also send out Alerts providing a network of crime prevention advice.”


Colleen Atkins (Bedford MSA)

Colleen AtkinsIn response to Mike sending the Neighbourhood Watch Week cards, Colleen responded, “Neighbourhood Watch Week started here in Bedford in 1985 and we’ve held it (Neighbourhood Watch week) every year since so we are celebrating our 35 years of Neighbourhood Watch Week this year. Sadly, it’s very different to what would have been planned.

When I was the first national chair in 1995, I introduced it as a national event and so I’m delighted it’s still going strong across the whole country.

Jane Brown, South Buckinghamshire MSA

Jane Brown Jane told us, “I have been a Coordinator in my current road for 12 Years and an Area Coordinator for the Ivers for 5 years. I have lived in Iver Heath all my life so it’s great to give something back.

Using information from the many contacts I have made over the years, I am able to share crime awareness, crime prevention advice and updates from the police. 

For me it is all about Care, Community & Communication.


Janet Chapman, MSA & Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Association

Janet became a member of Home Watch thirty years ago during which time she has had various roles, but she now chairs her local NHW group as well as being Vice-Chair for Greater Manchester NGW Association. Janet was nominated to take on the MSA role for Greater Manchester a couple of years ago and has set up an Association for North Manchester.


Robin Sutton, Chair of Cambridgeshire NW

Robin Sutton Robin told us, “I worked in education for over forty years giving me an insight into the importance of nurturing strong, positive connections in families and communities and the benefits this could bring to their wellbeing and environment.  It was quite natural for me to join Neighbourhood Watch, an organisation which champions building strong, active and safer communities and aims to reduce crime and improve wellbeing.


Willie Clarke, Neighbourhood Watch Scotland SCIO

Willie Clark Neighbourhood Watch Scotland is a registered charity and is fully supported by a board of volunteer trustees. The organisation operates from Stirling and comprises 3 members of staff – Willie Clark, NWS Coordinator; Mark Armstrong, Community Support Officer and Varrie McDevitt, Admin and Finance Officer. Together, Willie, Mark and Varrie have over 75 years experience working in Community Safety and have been involved in supporting Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and members directly and indirectly for much of that time.


Val McPherson, MSA Thames Valley

Val McPherson Val joined Neighbourhood Watch in the early 1980s and became a co-ordinator for her local scheme. Over time she expanded her influence and responsibilities, and for many years she was Chair of the Thames Valley Neighbourhood Watch Association, and the South East Regional Forum. This included responsibility for oversight of the Neighbourhood Alert database and communication system shared with Thames Valley Police. In 2015 she was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to policing and community safety.


VISAV Ltd would like to thank all our volunteer MSAs for their valued contribution to keeping the Neighbourhood Alert database up to date and for the important messages they send to their communities to keep their neighbours aware of local crime and scams.

The MSA role is described on the Ourwatch website. If you are interested in becoming an MSA, contact your local Neighbourhood Watch Association.


"The Central Support Team and I are hugely grateful for the great work that the MSA’s undertake to keep the local information on members, schemes and coordinators up to date on the Alert system. On top of this many MSA’s are key to the passing on of messages about local crime and other issues to their local communities. Without you the system would not work and we will continue to do our best to support you with training, problem solving and support both locally and centrally. Basically a big thank you to all the MSA’s."

- John Hayward-Cripps, NWN CEO