Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Neighbourhood Watch Audit - the Results

In our last Haughton West Community News, we wrote about an audit of Neighbourhood Watch across the ward, and we asked the local police for their help. Neighbourhood Watch is one of the best front-line defences we have against crime, and it helps everyone feel that bit safer. It’s a great way for all of us to look out for our neighbours, especially those who might be vulnerable.

We now have the results – many thanks to Vicky Ord at Darlington Police for her assistance.

There are 23 members of Neighbourhood Watch across the ward (to put that in context, there are about 4,200 adults and 2,500 properties in Haughton West). Not a great figure, but by no means the worst apparently in the town.

Rather than list all the streets which don’t have a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, it is quicker and easier to list those that have. So here they are;

Balmoral Road, Cairngorm Drive, Beauly Drive, Cragwellside, Danby Court, Glamis Road (has 2!), Hardwick Close, Hercules Street, Hutton Avenue, Idaho Close, Inglewood Close, Largo Gardens, Leven Gardens, Littlebeck Drive, Mendip Grove, Moray Close, Nightingale Avenue, Rockwell Avenue & Sparrow Hall Drive.

By our reckoning, that means that around 57 streets in the ward have no active Neighbourhood Watch presence.

We’d encourage everyone to think about joining up to the scheme – or re-joining, if you once were a member and for whatever reason have drifted away. It is not time-consuming, and is one small way we can all do something for our community as well as ourselves.

As you may have seen in the Echo last month, Francis Jones, the self-styled community protector who runs the for-profit Sparta set-up, had the front to describe his two-bit organisation as the Neighbourhood Watch for the 21st Century. I beg to differ - I think people are still community minded enought to look out for each other - Neighbourhood Watch is more relevant than ever, and we don't need Jones' Keystone Cops outfit in our streets.

If you are interested in joining up to Neighbourhood Watch, simply contact Vicky Ord, the Community Liaison Officer for the Police, who is based at the Central House Annex in Gladstone Street. Her direct line number is 346832, mobile 0781 3675733. Vicky can also be contacted by email – her address is victoria.ord@durham.pnn.police.uk

If you do sign up and you live in Haughton West, please let me know, so we can promote progress via our newsletters. We will be reminding everyone about Neighbourhood Watch when we circulate our Street Surgery Notices in future.

NEWSFLASH - after circulating a version of the above post in our Haughton West e-newslketter, one resident has already come foreward to give his name as a co-ordinator. Let's see if we can't get 9 more people signed up by the end of the summer!


Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes......

Nick. All of Whinfield Park is covered by Neighbourhood Watch. Whitebridge Drive included. Our local volunteer leader went round the estate with her husband and a pair of step ladders years ago one Sunday afternoon putting up the signs on the lamp posts.

I was enrolled by Jacqui Snowball the then Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator and received recorded telephone messages and also e mails from Neighbourhood Watch about crimes, but this ended some time ago.

I was given a form by the new Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator last night and will send it back when it is completed. I will also pop round to see the local volunteer leader who wasn't at the meeting last night to see if she is still interested and will let the new Co-ordinator know.

Best wishes.


Ian W said...

Nick it has been slow on the uptake out here in Hurworth with only a few people really getting involved.
I would strongly suggest anyone who wants to help their community/ area get in touch with Vicky and join up, it's free and you never know it may just keep the baddies off the street's :)

Darlington Councillor said...

Thanks both of you.

Ian - completely agree - Neighbourhood Watch is the free way everyone can not only look after their own household, but also those of other members of the community too.

Alan - thanks for that - David, Andy and I are now using our street surgery notices to promote the scheme, tailoring each one with information on which streets aren't signed up with the scheme (we have a big surgery this Friday).

As far as Whinfield being covered by the scheme, I think what has happened is that the police have been keen to clear up their database, so it only holds information about active members. I know Vicky has been making strenuous efforts to contact all the people she has 'inherited' on her list from previous co-ordinators, but inevitably, quite a few have moved away, lost interest or died.

No doubt a quick call from co-ordinators to Vicky in the area not on my list of streets covered will set the record straight. It would be great to have the majority of streets covered by the end of the year in the ward.

Wally watcher said...

Priceless, you post a blog about an audit of neighbourhood watch carried out by you and the Police and then rely on Alan Mcnab to tell you about streets involved that you know nothing about!

Thank god Alan's going to replace you in 2011, at least he knows whats happening.

ianw said...

Once again I would suggest to anyone not in a neighbour hood watch scheme please join they are easy and you do not need to attend meeetings if you don't wish, many home insurance company's now ask if you are part of a NHW I assume you get a lower premium.

Try it together we can cut crime.