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How to become a Neighbourhood Warden

neighbourhood warden careers

What does a Neighbourhood Warden do?

Neighbourhood wardens provide a uniformed presence in communities, with the aim of improving people's quality of life, tackling anti-social behaviour and reducing fear of crime.

Job categories include:

Neighbourhood wardens - who work to improve the environment, quality of life and safety in local communities. Alternative job titles may be community warden and community safety warden.

Street wardens - who undertake similar tasks to above but are more likely to work in town and village centres and public areas.

Street crime wardens - who work in designated high-crime areas and may be empowered to issue fixed penalty notices for littering and dog fouling.

Wardens work closely with other agencies in their area – local authorities, environmental agencies, police, voluntary and community groups, tenants' associations and schools. The work varies, depending on the needs of the area but duties typically include:

  • responding to minor incidents of anti-social behaviour (although wardens do not become involved in situations where physical force is required)
  • alerting the appropriate agencies to environmental and maintenance problems such as faulty street lighting, abandoned vehicles and broken paving stones
  • tackling issues such as litter, graffiti and dog fouling
  • checking on empty properties
  • visiting and supporting the elderly and other vulnerable people
  • reporting suspicious behaviour to the police
  • developing and supporting projects to bring together different sections of the community and involve children and young people in activities.

What's the working environment like working as a Neighbourhood Warden?

Basic hours will vary according to the scheme and may be full-time or part-time. They usually involve shift, weekend and bank holiday work.

There is often a lot of walking involved, patrolling the area in all weathers. The work may also involve taking part in meetings of groups such as tenants' associations, giving talks in schools or community centres, and organising, contributing to, or attending local activities and events, both indoors and outside.

A uniform is provided by the employer.

Wardens are issued with mobile phones or radios to keep in contact with their managers, colleagues and other agencies.

What does it take to become a Neighbourhood Warden?

To be a neighbourhood warden you should:

  • be reasonably physically fit
  • have a sense of justice
  • be able to relate to people of all ages
  • be a good listener and communicator
  • be committed to equal opportunities
  • be confident and assertive but remain open-minded and non-judgemental
  • be able to remain calm in crises
  • have organisational and problem solving skills
  • be able to use initiative but also work well in a team
  • be observant, and able to record incidents accurately and report them.

Neighbourhood Warden Career Opportunities

Wardens are employed by local authorities, housing associations and town centre management companies. They may also be employed by community safety partnerships, which are partnerships of all the above agencies in a particular area.

The LG Careers website provides links to local councils and the National Wardens Network provides contact details for local schemes and resource centres (see Further Information).

It is sometimes possible to progress to a Supervisor or Assistant Head Warden post, if supervisory ability can be demonstrated, and even on to Head Warden.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Neighbourhood Warden that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Vacancies will be advertised in the local press, in jobcentres and in the bulletins issued by local authorities.

To find out about schemes in your area contact the Community Safety Officer in your local authority.

Neighbourhood Renewal Unit

National Wardens Network

LG Careers

Courses to help you become a Neighbourhood Warden