A little over two years ago an article in this magazine asked “Is Neighbourhood Watch in Littleport dead? Well not quite, but it is in a rather sorry state which is quite distressing as it used to be a thriving and dynamic organisation in Littleport.” Well, fortunately there has recently been a significant change with 5 new schemes started in the last few months which have brought approximately 150 households within the Neighbourhood Watch fold.
You might wonder whether this is important to which the answer must be YES. We are in a period of cuts which is resulting in a reduction of staff within the police and local authority support services. It may not be admitted by the authorities but reduced staff numbers invariably result in a reduced service. Neighbourhood Watch is in some way filling the gap.
Neighbourhood Watch was established to work with the local police force to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and also the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour. This support to the police force is as important now as it ever was. The police need the support of residents if crime and disorder in Littleport is to be contained, and even more so, if it is to be reduced.
In addition to supporting the police, Neighbourhood Watch is there to encourage neighbourliness and improve the quality of life for local residents and tenants. Many of the unwanted goings-on that occur in a neighbourhood are not police matters but matters for the local authority; these would include graffiti, fly tipping, dog fouling, abandoned cars, noisy dogs or noisy neighbours and numerous more. Many residents, particularly the elderly, fight shy of contacting faceless officials on such matters, but a neighbourhood watch coordinator would be there to fight your corner.
You might ask who this coordinator might be; it is the person designated to oversee a neighbourhood watch scheme usually of about 20 to 50 houses. Might you be such a person?
It is also worth noting that the majority of home insurance companies give a reduction on insurance premiums for residents in a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. Such reductions are always welcome, but it also serves as a strong endorsement of the benefit of Neighbourhood Watch – large insurance companies are not renowned for giving something for nothing, so they obviously see the benefit.
If you want to keep your neighbourhood safe, or improve safety and security in your neighbourhood, find out how Neighbourhood Watch can help. Phone Kevin Evans on 01353 614892.