TIM DREW: Neighbourhood Watch and police working together

editorial image

SUSSEX Police is engaging Neighbourhood Watch as part of a multi-county initiative aimed at driving down burglary.

This was detailed in a presentation by public engagement officer Shaun Polley at the annual general meeting of the Worthing Neighbourhood Watch Association, which was held on October 22, at Centenary House, Durrington.

Sussex Police has been working with Thames Valley, Hampshire, Kent and Surrey police forces since October 27, on a three-week regional focus on burglaries involving dwellings. This will include coverage of burglaries in press releases and social media, and the Neighbourhood Response Teams are aiming to raise awareness by visiting the ten properties on either side of the house that has been burgled, with leaflets being distributed to the other properties in the road. If there is a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for that road, he or she will be notified within 24 hours of the police first becoming aware of the burglary.

The PCSOs will play a prominent part in this process, passing on crime prevention advice such as reminding householders to put away rubbish bins after they have been emptied because burglars see a bin left out as an indication the premises are unoccupied. Police will also be working with second-hand stores and websites such as Gumtree. Operation Labrador, which enlists the help of dog walkers to alert police to unusual activity or behaviour, will play an important part in the campaign, as will the promotion of Immobilise, the world’s largest free register of possession ownership details where photographs of your valuables can be uploaded and details registered; this helps to disrupt the activities of the many criminals who use stolen goods as a currency.

• On Saturday, November 1, PCSO Gary Morgan hosts his surgery, between 9.30am and 10.30am at the Sanctuary Housing Office, in Samphire Drive, Worthing, and the Offington Neighbourhood Panel will meet at the Thomas A Becket pub in Rectory Road, Worthing, between 10am and 11am on Thursday, November, 6.