Swindon AdvertiserNeighbourhood Watch scheme needs support (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Neighbourhood Watch scheme needs support

Swindon Advertiser: Neighbourhood Watch street co-ordinator  Anita Basevi, who says the scheme in Wanborough has collapsed since the area co-ordinator Neighbourhood Watch street co-ordinator Anita Basevi, who says the scheme in Wanborough has collapsed since the area co-ordinator

RESIDENTS in Wanborough want their local Neighbourhood Watch scheme rejuvenated to help combat petty crime in the area.

About five years ago the area co-ordinator for Wanborough retired from his post and was not replaced, leaving the local community to fend for themselves.

But the information local residents need to keep themselves safe is not being spread through the community.

Anita Basevi, who is street co-ordinator for the local watch, wants to see closer interaction with the police and more volunteers coming forward to keep their communities safe.

The 47-year-old, who lives in Upper Kite, said: “There used to be a co-ordinator for Wanborough but he had to retire and his post just wasn’t replaced.

“It used to be that we would get up-to-date, hot-off-the press information about what was going on in the area, including some bits that wouldn’t go into the newsletter.

“We don’t have that now.”

Anita said the Neighbourhood Watch scheme was very important for making sure that neighbourhoods helped themselves to protect communities from crime.

She said: “There’s so many people who work during the day and if there are a few people who do stay at home during the day, if they would just keep an eye out for other people it could do a lot to keep crime rates down.

“It’s also good for them to know that someone is keeping an eye out – it gives them that piece of mind.

“I do send emails around to everybody or drop them in through their door but we don’t really talk to each other. It may be that we aren’t so much of a cul-de-sac but a long road, and so maybe we just don’t talk to each other as much as other places. “Talking over the garden fence only really happens every few months.”

Anita also wants more volunteers to come forward to take part in the scheme.

She said: “We’re always looking for volunteers to join up as well. Some people show interest but they don’t follow through.

“You don’t need many people to take part, just enough to make sure we are all looking out for each other.

“Perhaps it’s not Neighbourhood Watch but just communicating with each other, like when Thames Water delivered water to the pub after there was a problem with our pipes. “It was only because I know the landlady of the pub that I knew that water was there and I could make sure it got to the vulnerable people who needed it.”

To find out more about the Neighbourhood Watch and get involved with one in your area, visit www.ourwatch.org.uk

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