TIM DREW: Week themed on fighting fraud and cyber-crime

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THIS year, National Neighbourhood and Home Watch Week runs from June 14 to 22, and the theme this year will be fraud and cyber-crime.

A range of materials are available on the Neighbourhood Watch website, including a pack for members with some ideas about how co-ordinators and their schemes can support the week – for example, by helping to publicise it on Facebook and Twitter. Posters and flyers can also be downloaded.

Topics covered are part of the week are set to include safe online banking, protecting yourself against spam emails, bogus ‘computer repair’ telephone calls, safeguarding your passwords, and even online dating. Meanwhile, congratulations go to the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Search Teams, which, on Monday, June 2, were announced by Buckingham Palace as recipients of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2014.

The Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Search Teams currently comprise three regional teams – North Sussex, East Sussex and West Downs – and a quarter of the membership comes from our catchment area.

Sussex Police can call on nearly 400 fully trained volunteer searchers, at short notice and very little cost, to help either to restore missing persons (many of whom are highly vulnerable) to their family and friends or bring closure as soon as possible, without significantly detracting from other important police activities. The Search Teams operate primarily in Sussex but, when requested, can assist neighbouring forces. The three Search Teams were formed following the coming together of volunteers in the search for Sarah Payne, in 2000. n On Monday, June 16, the Durrington & Northbrook Neighbourhood Panel meeting will be held between 7.30pm and 9pm at the Durrington Community Centre. PCSO Dan Cobden’s surgery is at the same venue between 5pm and 6pm the next day, when the Heene Neighbourhood Panel will also meet, at the Heene Community Centre, in Heene Road between 7pm and 8pm.