Community urged to join Neighbourhood Watch groups to help fight against crime

RESIDENTS of Hyde and Denton are being urged to join the fight against crime by forming Neighbourhood Watch groups.

Tony Moran, Tameside’s co-ordinator of the borough’s groups, describes raising awareness as a priority during Neighbourhood Watch Week between June 17-23.

Hyde and Denton each has three Neighbourhood Watch groups with Tony saying there is considerable scope for expansion in both towns.

Tony, who helped set up the Denton West Town Lane South scheme last year, is keen Neighbourhood Watch groups, rebranded from Home Watch last year, says there is growing awareness of how important groups can be.

“I have received enquiries from people about setting up two groups in Gee Cross and the one in Dane Bank is the biggest one in the borough with 1,000 members,” he said.

Tony is keen the groups embrace modern technology, explaining: “We live in a fast-moving world with social media. I think the days of monthly meetings are outdated.

“We encourage the sharing of information on social media as the way to go forward.

“It is also a cost effective way for police to get information, though we still use old fashioned methods including working closely with the PCSO.

“We also want it to be more than protecting property but looking after the vulnerable and elderly.”

PCSO Christine Hill, whose beat covers Denton West, concurred with Tony saying residents can help gather information as they cannot be everywhere 24/7.

“We like curtain twitchers and for people to be aware of anything unusual happening where they live,” she said.

Neighbourhood Watch, which covers around 3.5million homes nationally, is a valued voluntary grass root movement with its strength in building strong communities, preventing crime and working to support community resilience and spirit.

Everyone in the community has the responsibility for preventing crime. Neighbourhood Watch aims to foster a strong and positive working relationship with the police locally, regionally and nationally.

Residents and the police support each other helping to create an environment where opportunities for crime are reduced.

Tony, who represents Tameside on the Greater Manchester Neighbourhood Watch Association (GMNWA), says it is the intention of each representative to feedback to local Neighbourhood Watch schemes in their borough to support both existing groups and engage with new start-ups.

He added he has also been working in partnership with Tameside Council’s community safety partnership manager Vanessa Rothwell and inspector Lee Broadoak Tameside Police.

Tony said the former Home Watch scheme had basically lost it aims as society has changed in respect of types of crime and the use of social media sharing intelligence with GMP.

Tameside Neighbourhood Watch has developed its own website ready for the launch of NWA week and each registered group will be signposted through a link to each borough ward giving contact details for a group in their area. It will also provide guidance for those wanting to start a new group.

Tameside Neighbourhood Watch has also planned a seminar of Thursday, September 26 at Hyde Town Hall to encourage people to form groups by giving them the opportunity to liaise with those already running.

Tameside has also produced a handbook for Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators and residents which is available online at www.tmbcnwa.jhweb.uk

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