1,000 people sign up to Neighbourhood Watch in Darlington
28 June 2012
The Neighbourhood Watch scheme has received a huge boost in Darlington after a recruitment week saw more than 1,000 people sign up as members.
After several years of inactivity the scheme has been revived in the town, with a new Neighbourhood Watch Association working in partnership with Darlington Police.
A recruitment drive across the town last week led to more than 1,000 people signing up, with 100 people agreeing to become co-ordinators, who pass information and updates to other members in their local areas.
Senior police officers in the town hope Neighbourhood Watch can become a way of connecting with the community by integrating the scheme with the exisiting Partners and Communities Together (Pact) meetings, where residents can raise concerns about local issues.
Chief Inspector Chris Reeves, neighbourhood policing manager for Darlington, said: “I’ll be writing to all the neighbourhood co-ordinators to thank them for their contribution and to invite them to take part in Pact meetings.
“I think we are working well in Darlington, but there are always different ideas out there about how we could deal with problems and we need to link in with residents more.
“The untapped potential of Neighbourhood Watch is unlimited.”
National statistics show that areas with an active Neighbourhood Watch scheme have lower levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.
The new Neighbourhood Watch Association last week elected a new committee and chairman, Jim Allen, who said he is keen to rid the association of its curtain twitching reputation.
He said: “I only joined Neighbourhood Watch three months ago, but until recently it has been very quiet in its activities.
“The aim of the association is to increase membership, to get more people interested in looking out for their local community and hopefully to reduce crime even further.
“The police do a very good job in Darlington but the more we can do to assist them the better. This is not about curtain twitching - we want people who want to look after their fellow neighbours and report crimes and suspicious activity when they see it happening.”
For more information on joining Neighbourhood Watch 01325 346832 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Article courtesy of The Northern Echo