Torbay Neighbourhood Watch: Don't become a victim of crime

Torbay Weekly

Neighbourhood Watch is the largest crime prevention organisation in England and Wales, with upwards of two to three million members.

Taking care of our possessions is important, because if we don't take care of our treasures, no-one else will - and sooner or later a criminal opportunist will take advantage of that open window and we will realise too late that prevention really is better than cure.

We all sometimes forget to check that the back door is securely locked before going to bed at night, or realise that we left that downstairs window wide open when we popped to the shop.

It doesn't take long for someone to get in, and out through an open window - less than five minutes.

Perhaps we all need to get into the Neighbourhood Watch crime prevention habit.

Helping you to protect your home and all those things that you care about is at the heart of Neighbourhood Watch.

Most burglaries are opportunistic and many can be prevented if we take some sensible, basic steps to protect ourselves.

When Neighbourhood Watch began, it was described by the police as their 'eyes and ears' and very little has changed in this regard over the years, for in order to solve crime, and stop crime from happening, the police need information and shared intelligence from the public.

The crime map for your area can be found on torquay@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk, paignton@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk and brixham@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk

If you see anything that might be of interest to the police, please do not hesitate to let them know.

It may seem very unimportant to you, but to the police, it may be that final piece of the jigsaw that solves the puzzle.

To report a crime, or something that seems suspicious, or that concerns you in any way, ring 101, or send a quick email to 101@dc.police.uk

You can report an incident anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 and for anything really urgent dial 999.

Being a member of an active Neighbourhood Watch scheme may reduce your insurance slightly, for some insurance companies will give a small discount to someone who is a member of a scheme.

This is because statistics show that crime happens less in an NHW area, as NHW residents tend to keep an eye out for suspicious looking activity and also watch out for those in the scheme who are vulnerable.

Since insurance companies are not philanthropists, if they approve of NHW, it must mean that Neighbourhood Watch is of benefit to them!

Since there is less crime in a Neighbourhood Watch area, obviously there will be fewer insurance claims.

The first Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in the UK was set up in 1982 - 40 years ago - and to celebrate this milestone, a special window sticker has been designed to be displayed alongside the normal NHW stickers in members' windows .

The first Torbay Neighbourhood Watch scheme was set up 36 years ago in 1986 and this scheme is still being run well, and efficiently by the current co-ordinator.

There are quite a few Torbay Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators across the Bay who began their schemes more than 20 years ago, and this year, we have decided to try to find the longest, still serving co-ordinator in the Bay. The search is on.

To find out more about Neighbourhood Watch, email watchofficetorbay@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk or call 07816 511 848.

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