Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Join Neighbourhood Watch in Hertfordshire to help reduce crime
Watch schemes in Hertfordshire are celebrating national Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) Week with a call to drum up even more members, targeting that elusive 18 to 30 age group. Already with 100,000 homes signed up, by February 2016, and more joining every week, police and watch members continue to build the crime-busting community.
 
Wholly supported by Hertfordshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, Watch scheme play an integral part in the ‘Public Focus’ aim of his five year Police & Crime Plan ‘Everybody’s Business’.
 
Commissioner Lloyd said: “Active citizens are vital to supporting the delivery of policing and community safety.  Some people are happy to go as far as becoming volunteer police officers, as part of the Special Constabulary, but others can play their part by being a member of a watch scheme – keeping up to date with police action in your neighbourhood, protecting your property against burglars and thieves by following the advice given, looking out for your neighbours and reporting suspicious activity.”
 
Police/Watch Scheme Co-ordinator Julie Lloyd said: “It is fantastic that so many residents and businesses across Hertfordshire have signed up already but more people involved make it even stronger. 
 
“We’ve managed to encourage people of all ages to sign up but there aren’t so many members under 30.  We are working hard to encourage our younger residents to get on board too, because the kind of crimes that NHW can help prevent can happen to any resident, no matter what their age.   Online scams and other cyber crimes, in particular, commonly happen to younger people. 
 
“You don’t have to play a dynamic role, simply signing up for messages and watching out for your neighbours is all you need to do to be part of Neighbourhood Watch, although there are plenty of opportunities to play a bigger role as a street or area co-ordinator if you want to do more.
 
Watch schemes use the award-winning OWL (Online Watch Link www.owl.co.uk) to communicate messages securely and send police crime alerts and crime prevention advice. Earlier this month it enabled police to quickly find a vulnerable missing woman in Welwyn Garden City when a member saw the appeal and spotted the woman.
 
Chair of Herts Watch, which oversees the county’s watch schemes, Sue Thompson, said: “This is the power of NHW – local people with local knowledge helping the police.  It is just one of a number of positive direct results where members of the public have helped police. Members are also able to help prevent crime and improve the neighbourhoods we all live in. There’s no reason not to join – and what better time than Neighbourhood Watch Week!”
 
A survey of OWL recipients, carried out last month, showed that half of the people who responded feel safer in their own homes since receiving OWL messages, 87 per cent said they are more aware of scams and rogue traders since joining up and local crime alerts, scam and fraud alerts are the most useful messages they receive.
 
National Neighbourhood Watch Week runs from Saturday June 18 to Sunday June 26.  Herts Watch, Police officers and PCSO across the county encourage people to sign up to OWL throughout the year and tailor their messages to reach relevant households and watch scheme members to share relevant crime information with crime prevention advice.  
 
To join Neighbourhood Watch, or find out more about OWL, please visit www.herts.police.uk or www.owl.co.uk or contact your Safer Neighbourhood Team by calling 101.