WEEKLY COLUMN: Keith Longdon

Phew, it only seems a moment since Christmas and February is upon us already! I’m also very much aware that since the New Year there have been isolated house break-ins particularly in areas where the more vulnerable of our society live.

Please be vigilant and always lock your doors when at home. Don’t give the offender an easy access into your home. We often hear members of the public complain that incidents are not worth reporting, because nothing happens. This is just not true. Everything is worth recording and a phone call essential, however trivial you might feel the incident is. If the public do not ring in then the police can’t record the incident/crime and this is so important to the police. We need to assist the police in whatever way we can. Remember our local Police Safer Neighbourhoods Teams focus on problem-solving and engaging with their local community to learn more about local issues and improve the quality of life for local people. Ring 999 to report a crime in progress or 101 for non urgent issues.

You can help to make your community safer by joining your local scheme.

Neighbourhood Watch is one of the most successful crime prevention schemes ever, working not only to reduce crime but to build community spirit and good relations. It brings local people closer together with the common goal of tackling crime and disorder and keeping an eye on each other’s property. An item on the agenda will be the parking problems outside local schools. Why not join us at our next meeting at the Baptist Church on Percy Street at 7pm on February 11.

And finally, you may recall I told you in my last report that the front counter at Eastwood Police station would be closing as of January until April when it would be ‘reviewed’. This was very disappointing news but I’m pleased to tell you that a petition is ongoing and you can sign online on the NHW website: www.eastwoodneighbourhoodwatch.co.uk I will also be calling door to door in Eastwood to register your feedback on the closure and asking you to sign the petition. Meantime, keep them peeled and stay safe!