This week is National Neighbourhood Watch Week and a great opportunity to celebrate some of the great work being done by these volunteers on behalf of the community.
Warwickshire has around 5,000 Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) scheme co-ordinators that represent over 50,000 householders across the County.
Coordinators carry out local projects and help to keep members of their schemes aware of local crime issues. Warwickshire Police send out information by telephone, fax, and email or text messages to schemes by a computer based messaging system. In the last 12 months 806 such alerts have been sent out. Messages are also posted to The Warwickshire Safer Neighbourhood Teams web site:
David Whitehouse, Head of Community Protection at Warwickshire Police said: “We really value the work of Neighbourhood Watch and their work with our Safer Neighbourhood Teams”.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about joining Neighbourhood Watch or joining a local scheme they should contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team or email [email protected]
Recent projects in the Stratford Stratford District have included expanding the Neighbourhood Watch scheme in Tanworth in Arden and Earlswood areas.
In October and November 2007 the Police saw an increase in the numbers of dwelling house burglaries in the Tanworth in Arden and Earlswood area of Stratford district. Working with Crime and Disorder Reduction Partners funding was made available to carry out Operation Weymouth which is nearing completion.
The operation involved delivering nearly 500 property-marking kits to homes in certain areas. Using Police Community Support Officers and members of the Community Protection Department a total of nearly 500 houses were visited. They were supplied with Smart Water property marking kits, crime reduction literature and the households were signed up to Neighbourhood Watch.
These new members have been put on the Community Messaging system and will now start to receive information either by telephone, e-mail or fax.
PC Tony Lambert from the Community Protection Department at Warwickshire Police said “This has been a really worthwhile project with us signing up almost 500 new members to the Neighbourhood watch scheme. We attended houses and provided the smart water kits and well as discussing crime prevention issues with members of the public. We had very positive feedback from the people we visited. We are grateful for the CDRP partners providing the funding for the project. The number of incidents in the area has been reduced and we are now in the process of putting up street signage stating that properties in the area are marked with smart water.”
“Neighbourhood Watch can have real benefits to the community especially in the rural areas such as Tanworth in Arden. People can look out for each other and report any suspicious incidents to the Police. They will receive messages of importance from us using the messaging system.”
Neighbourhood Watch are also highlighting the importance of businesses in combating crime in communities. Over 5,000 businesses of various types are members of the scheme in Warwickshire. This includes commercial business, shops, public houses, hotels and rural businesses. Warwickshire Police are currently working with the National Farmers Union to promote membership of the rural watch scheme which currently has over 500 members. Peter Guillaume, Business Crime Prevention Manager for Warwickshire Police said: “These schemes are really important to keep businesses engaged in combating crime. We get some very good feedback from members who value the information they receive”.