East Cambs NWA (7)

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January 2010.

Burwell Shows the way. A positive approach to Neighbourhood Watch.
The following text is taken from The Burwell Bulletin, a newsletter circulated to every house in Burwell. It could be used as a draft for any village to use as publicity in Parish Magazines or other means of local communication.
It really gets to the heart of what Neighbourhood Watch is all about, well done Burwell! 
Villages in need of Neighbourhood Watch
Burwell and the villages immediately surrounding it are desperately in need of more neighbourhood watch groups. That is the message coming from the local Neighbourhood Watch Association and from the police.
Where some places in Britain have almost every street covered by a group of close neighbours who watch out for each other, in Burwell there are just 7 groups between a population of around 6000 people. In a time when the public seems to focus incessantly on crime figures and the nuisance of anti-social behaviour, the logical answer could be to take preventative action.
Rod Brown is a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator in Burwell.  For him it means getting to know the people who live around him, a feeling of safety within his own surroundings and the knowledge that he can report suspicious incidents to the police and they will take him seriously. What's more, he gets a reduction on his home contents insurance.
"I decided to become a coordinator because a lot of people in my street are retired and we all like to know there is someone looking out for us." he said. "Being a coordinator means that I often get messages and warnings from the police if there is something we should be looking out for. Then I print out a note and have  a walk around and put them through my neighbours doors. I go to the occasional meeting and have a chat with the PCSOs to see whether there have been any trends in crime in the village we should be on the look out for. It really isn't very much but it makes a big difference. The main thing for all the members of the group is that we look out for each other and our property. 
“We report anything we think is wrong and keep our neighbourhood as safe as possible."
Police have reported a very positive result from these groups and say they have figured largely in some important arrests.
Village coordinator of the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, Jim Perry feels it is extremely important that more people get involved. "I would be happy to talk to anyone about the scheme and to help them get started." he said.
Anyone wanting to start up a scheme for their estate, their street, or even for a small cluster of houses, can contact Jim Perry on 01638 612121 or the area coordinator, Kevin Evans on: 01353 614892.

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