Police praise members of Home Watch who are keeping Cheshire safe from criminals
27 April 2012
Vigilant residents who protect streets and villages from vandalism and anti-social behaviour have been praised by police for ‘helping the fight against crime’.
The Home Watch movement in Cheshire – which sees residents keeping an eagle eye on streets and neighbourhoods in a bid to deter crime – has been heralded as a ‘great success’ by senior police officers.
Just 30 years after the UK’s first Home Watch scheme was proposed in Mollington, in response to a spate of burglaries in the village, police say the movement continues to deter criminals and protect communities.
Cheshire's Assistant Chief Constable Janette McCormick said the scheme had spread into a movement across the entire country.
“It has had a real impact on preventing crime and catching criminals,” she said
“Home Watch has adapted to a changing world and adopted new technology but, at the core, it is still about people making a constructive effort to protect their local community.”
Thirty years ago, Harold Cooper, chairman of the Mollington Residents Association, approached Chester Crime Prevention Office about the burglaries.
After the launch of Home Watch in Mollington, the burglaries stopped and representatives from 34 police forces came to Cheshire to look at the operation.
Retired Insp Grahame Andrews, who was then the crime prevention sergeant, said: “We made it clear it did not involve snooping on your neighbours and it was certainly not about creating a vigilante outfit.”
Today Home Watch remains about improving safety and security in the home and neighbourhood and knowing who to contact if someone is acting suspiciously in your town or village.
But now instead of stickers, posters and letters, email helps members to communicate and post warnings.
Insp Andrews said: “Although the technology has advanced, the basic principles of Home Watch from when it started back in 1982 are still relevant to the scheme now. It is based on people being good neighbours in a local community.”
Cheshire Police would like to hear people’s stories of how Home Watch has helped fight crime in their area and the positive effect it has had on the local community. Contact community engagement manager Jenny Ford on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article courtsy of Flintshire Chronicle