New community scheme launched

PUBLISHED: 12:41 16 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 May 2010

RESIDENTS will get the chance to meet police and Neighbourhood Watch contacts under a community scheme being launched next month. Representatives from Royston police and Neighbourhood Watch groups will be out in March in an attempt to raise awareness for

RESIDENTS will get the chance to meet police and Neighbourhood Watch contacts under a community scheme being launched next month.

Representatives from Royston police and Neighbourhood Watch groups will be out in March in an attempt to raise awareness for crime prevention schemes in the area.

Four surgeries are planned at different locations across the area to explain the benefits of watch schemes and offer support and crime prevention advice to residents.

North Herts watch liaison officer Vee Halimana said: "We already have many successful Neighbourhood Watch schemes and offer support and crime prevention advice to residents in the Royston Heath ward.

"The surgeries are open to anyone who would like to know more about what it means to be part of a watch."

Neighbourhood Watch schemes bring residents under one co-ordinator who will links in with the police.

A successful watch scheme relies heavily on communication between police and the community. Information is shared in a bid to cut opportunities for crime, increase awareness, reduce fear of crime and report incidents.

Geoff Camp, the community inspector for Royston, said: "There is evidence to show that where there are active Neighbourhood Watch schemes crime is lower, something which we are determined to build on with our partner agencies.

"The new national Safer Neighbourhoods strategy means that police and local councils are working even more closely with communities in a bid to fight crime and anti-social behaviour.

"We anticipate that the surgeries will encourage people who are out at work in the daytime to set up Neighbourhood Watches, too."

Insp Camp added: "Retired people, parents and child carers and others who work at home are a vital part Neighbourhood Watch, but there is a role for many others who may be only around in the evening and at the weekend."

- Anyone interested in finding out more about the scheme or crime prevention can attend the following surgeries where the community safety van will be on show:

- Wednesday, March 7: Beldam Avenue, including Barkway Street.

- Wednesday, March 14: Layston Park area, and the van will be parked at the bus station on Market Hill.

- Wednesday, March 21: Sun Hill Road and the Princes Mews area, where the van will be parked in the Somerfield car park.

- Wednesday, March 28: Tannery and Green Drift area, and the van will be parked in Green Drift.

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