Neighbourhood Watch is based on family dynamics and lifelong repercussions of decisions and actions made in youthful haste. Self-preservation and maintaining a good public image are strong motives throughout the book. Such incentives can lead even the most upstanding people to deception and reveal a darker side, if only to themselves.
Although the main characters differ greatly, they are all linked by events from the past. Neighbourhood Watch explores the danger of putting misplaced trust into institutions or their representatives, for this trust can be manipulated and used to the advantage of those it is placed in. Within the story, there is a heavy focus on the humanity of people and how they deal with a set of circumstances they may have no control over. There is an underlying current that is deconstructed – that a confident woman is seen as almost arrogant and untrustworthy, and is not to be given the benefit of the doubt.