Eye Parish Council organised a public crime prevention evening at Leeds Hall, with guest speakers from Peterborough Neighbourhood Watch and the police.
At a very well-attended meeting, chairman of Peterborough Neighbourhood Watch, Alan Paul, explained the principles behind the association and why it is so important to join, and get your neighbours to join.
“It isn’t just about reducing crime in your area, although that will of course happen,” he said. “It’s also about building bridges to your community, getting to know your neighbours and keeping crime to a minimum in the process.”
Hosting the evening was Toni Cray, Cardea coordinator, who introduced full-time nurse and Hampton Gardens coordinator, Amy True, who said: “My husband and I moved to this brand new development from St Neots just over a year ago, but we didn’t know anybody in our neighbourhood because like us they were all just moving in.
“I was asked if I would like to be coordinator for my area, and now I know almost everybody around me where I live. It makes life a lot friendlier than just a simple ‘hello’ in the mornings.
“There are practical advantages of course. Not long after we moved in tools were being stolen in broad daylight from the builders still working on the site. One of my neighbourhood watchers saw a man with a high-vis jacket and hard hat jump in a van and take out boxes of tools, only he wasn’t a worker, he was stealing them.
“We reported it to the police, one of whom lives on my street by pure luck, and within days they had caught the man and he went to prison as a prolific offender.”
Toni Cray also introduced Sean Gleeson, Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for Newborough and a former police officer in London for 31 years.
“We have got to look after each other in our communities and help stop crime at the same time,” he explained.
“A few weeks ago our neighbourhood was plagued with rogue fishmongers selling fish not for human consumption. Payment was always by credit card, but then they added large sums to the sale.”
“When the bogus fishmongers turned up again the next night in a fish van with no refrigeration unit, it sparked the curiosity of one of the neighbourhood watchers in Newborough. He called the police who were very quickly on the scene to arrest and charge them.”
Inspired by the evening, Eye resident Adrian Martin immediately volunteered to be coordinator for a new group in the village, and was surrounded by volunteers wanting to join and help beat crime.
There are more than 340 active Neighbourhood Watch groups in the Peterborough area. For more information about how you can set up your own Neighbourhood Watch group, or just how to contact the police about crime in your area, use the following links: www.peterboroughnhw.co.uk www.eCops.org.uk,