TIM DREW: We all benefit from John’s hard work

YOU may remember that, two weeks ago, I congratulated the West Down Search Team, which, together with other search teams based in Sussex, had achieved finalist status in the “Innovation” category of the inaugural National Neighbourhood and Home Watch awards.

I am now even more pleased to report that our teams went on to win the award, so well done to all concerned.

Meanwhile, it is just as great a pleasure to congratulate John Wright, who has been chairman of the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation since 2011, on being awarded the MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for services to Neighbourhood Watch and the community of Crawley.

John first became involved in Neighbourhood Watch following a violent burglary near his home which significantly impacted the local community. This led to his becoming the chairman of the Crawley Neighbourhood Watch Association, a post that he has held for more than ten years, before also going on to lead the federation.

There is not sufficient space here to list all of John’s numerous achievements, but both Crawley and Sussex as a whole are reaping their benefit.

Under his guidance, the aims and objectives of Crawley NHW have been extended to promote good citizenship and greater public awareness through Neighbourhood Watch groups, increase public participation in the prevention and detection of crime, reduce the fear of crime, improve police/community liaison and increase community safety.

In October 2012, John successfully concluded a new Service Level Agreement with Sussex Police, which is already bringing significant benefits by strengthening relationships between NHW and Sussex Police across the county. He has also quickly built an effective working relationship with the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, and her team.

Two Neighbourhood Panel Meetings are to take place on Wednesday, between 7-8pm for Castle ward at St Richard’s Church, Collingwood Road, Goring, and for Marine ward at Worthing Leisure Centre in Shaftesbury Avenue.