TIM DREW: Communication is key in the fight against crime

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THE new communications service level agreement between the police and Neighbourhood Watch in Sussex was signed last month by both parties, and the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.

It complements the general service level agreement (which was updated at the same time), creates a blueprint for effective and efficient communications between the police and Neighbourhood Watch, identifying key communication activities and setting expectation.

The role of Neighbourhood Watch as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police is at the very core of the agreement, and co-ordinators will be expected to pass on timely information from the police to the community, and vice versa, especially in connection with suspicious activities. This will include the use of social media, including Twitter, and subscribers can sign up to receive emergency messages from police.

In return, the police will ensure that all incidents and information which should be communicated to Neighbourhood Watch are referred to the local public engagement officer for onward transmission at the earliest opportunity, and personally communicate with Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators in their ward areas at least once a year, to review communication effectiveness locally.

PCSO Gary Morgan (Northbrook) will host his surgery at the Sanctuary Housing Office, in Samphire Drive from 10am to 11am on Sunday, June 29, with PCSO Nicola Burstow’s taking place at the Community House, 25 Dominion Road, Worthing, from 2pm to 3pm, the next day.

Two Neighbourhood Panel meetings will take place on Wednesday, July 2: for Offington ward, between 10am and 11am, at the Thomas A Becket pub in Rectory Road, followed by that for Castle ward, at St Richard’s Church, in Collingwood Road, Goring, from 7pm to 8pm.

Lastly, and as part of its fundraising activities, the West Downs Neighbourhood Watch Search Team will be holding a table sale on Saturday, June 28, between 10.30am and 1pm, at The Tabernacle, North Road, Lancing. People’s support, as ever, will be much appreciated!