Wednesday, 18 November, 2009

Woolpit Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators putting up their new signs with Community Watch Liaison Officer for Mid Suffolk, Phil Kemp

If you live in the north of the Mid Suffolk District, you are almost
certain to have a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in your area.

Recent figures have revealed that 93.9% of homes in the Mid Suffolk North Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) area are covered by Neighbourhood Watch. In the District as a whole, two thirds (65.3%) of homes have a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Neighbourhood Watch involves residents voluntarily coming together with the support of the police to create a safer and more caring community.

Community Watch and SNT Liaison Officer for Mid Suffolk, Phil Kemp, says, "These figures are fantastic and really show the hard work and determination of local residents who want to ensure their communities are safe. Suffolk has one of the lowest crime rates in the country and
in Mid Suffolk crime has fallen by 6% over the last six months compared to the same time last year - but being the victim of crime still has a big impact. We do as much as we can to prevent crime, but we need the help of local residents to assist in identifying problems, providing us with information, and doing all they can to keep their own homes safe.

"The Mid Suffolk North area is an excellent example of a community
working together to create active Neighbourhood Watch schemes, raising
awareness amongst residents of crime prevention advice and communicating
with their local Police Officers to share information. Whilst the vast majority of people living in Mid Suffolk can access a local scheme, there are still a few places where it is not running and so I am very keen to continue to promote Neighbourhood Watch. I would urge local residents to find out if there is an active group in their area that they can join, and if not we can provide help and support in setting one up."

Volunteer Co-ordinators run each scheme, and along with other residents, they create a network of support and information to promote community safety and crime prevention. The group shares the latest crime reduction advice, encourages members of the communities to be alert and watchful in looking after themselves and others and acts as a channel of communication to the police, to help prevent and detect crimes.

Mr Kemp continues, "Safer Neighbourhood Teams across Suffolk work with their communities to find out key policing priorities for local people. Neighbourhood Watch schemes are a great way for us to get involved with local matters and to work with residents to address problem issues."

With enthusiasm and support from residents, it can be quick and easy to
start a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. This has been demonstrated by the residents of Woolpit, who launched their scheme at the beginning of November.

The Parish Council approached Mr Kemp to make the whole of Woolpit a Neighbourhood Watch area following an increase in crime. Their six co-ordinators were insufficient to cover the whole area, so with the aid of Mr Kemp, they increased the number to thirteen and the scheme became active.

Mr Kemp says, "The Woolpit example is a clear demonstration of the ease in which a scheme may be started. Woolpit now has an effective network of support and information for residents to increase their sense of safety and well being in their local community."

If you would like more information on starting a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your area, call 01473 613500 and ask to speak to your local Community Watch Liaison Officer.

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