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Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch is about people working together to make their communities safer, bring back community spirit that is lacking in some areas and help people protect themselves. At the same time, you feel secure, knowing your neighbours are keeping an eye on your property.

Neighbourhood Watch involves . . .
  • Working with others to make your community safer
  • What you can do to reduce the risk of crime in your area
  • Knowing what to do when a crime or other emergency occurs
  • reducing the opportunity for crime by making it more difficult for the would be criminal to act

Neighbourhood Watch schemes can cover 4 - 40 households but it is best to decide on a number that you are able to easily pass information on to. We need people to be prepared to act as Co-ordinator and have a deputy or other people willing to help deliver messages in their road. Messages are sent out by Angela and Romy via the Ringmaster system at Newbury Police Station. We receive crime information on say bogus callers, vehicles that the Police are trying to trace and various other useful information. If you would like to find out more about setting up a scheme, please contact the Watch Office (Telephone No.: 01635 264718).

Even small pieces of information can help the Police complete a jigsaw and catch a criminal. All over the country active NHW schemes have reduced crime rates by working with each other and the Police.

Getting to know and helping your neighbours, especially the elderly re-creates a community spirit. The more schemes that can be started, the more we as part of a large organisation can help combat crime and make the community a safer place to live.

The National Neighbourhood Watch Association's saying is that "A lack of community spirit and good neighbourliness is a catalyst for crime and leaves the door open for criminals to move into an area. Where communities join together and look out for each other, then the criminals will move out". This is the clear message to tell criminals that they are not wanted in an area.

I am detailing below success stories where residents have helped catch criminals:

In Pear Tree Lane, Newbury two males were knocking on doors selling dusters etc. A neighbour left the door slightly ajar with her shopping and purse in view. One of the callers snatched the purse and on running away, was stopped by a lady from across the road who had seen what had happened. She asked for the purse back, which he gave her, and the two males then ran down the road. The Police were called and due to the quick actions of members of the NHW scheme, the criminals were caught and arrested. They had also carried out another crime in the area.

In Mayfair Drive, Newbury a car drove fast into the cul-de-sac and neighbours saw two males get out of the vehicle, change into boiler suits and run down the alley towards the Town. The Co-ordinator phoned the Police and discovered that the Police Officer had lost chase of this vehicle. The Police were then able to catch the men and recover stolen items from the car.

A leaflet offering tree/hedge cutting services was delivered to households in Wash Common, Newbury advising that the leaflet would be collected the next day. As they would be knocking on the doors, this was reported to the Police and details of the vehicle were obtained. A few weeks later, the NHW Co-ordinator was advised that these people had been wanted for burglary in Portsmouth.

On driving by Queens Court Flats, Newbury a male was noticed with a rucksack by a patio window. This was reported to the Police and on checking the area, two known criminals were found. The quick action most probably avoided a burglary taking place.

It is therefore important for people to notify the Police of anything suspicious happening in their road.

Finally, a lovely story came out of a recent NHW start up meeting in Newbury. Two ladies had lived in the road for 50 years and not spoken to each other until this meeting. Since the meeting they are getting together for coffee mornings.

Visit the National Neighbourhood Watch Association here.

Angela Money, Neighbourhood Watch Administrator.