Bid to get crime fight covering the whole town

PUBLISHED: 07:32 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 21:19 29 May 2010

Peter Caulfield (right) has been spreading the Neighbourhood Watch message throughout Uttlesford

Peter Caulfield (right) has been spreading the Neighbourhood Watch message throughout Uttlesford

CRIME in Great Dunmow could fall dramatically if more members of the community sign up to the Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Only four per cent of the town is currently covered by Neighbourhood Watch, and Essex Police s crime reduction advisor for Uttlesford

CRIME in Great Dunmow could fall dramatically if more members of the community sign up to the Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Only four per cent of the town is currently covered by Neighbourhood Watch, and Essex Police's crime reduction advisor for Uttlesford, Peter Caulfield, wants to achieve total coverage.

He said: "Neighbourhood Watch is a great tool when it comes to cutting crime and reducing the fear of crime, and nationally there is a 40 per cent reduction in crime on average where schemes are in place.

"Co-ordinators, who look after their street or a slightly larger area, can devote as much or as little time as they like, but you have to be able to deliver a newsletter to your area four times a year at the very least."

There are 10 co-ordinators at present in Great Dunmow looking after 440 homes, and Mr Caulfield hopes people will meet the challenge to get all 9,000 homes covered by Neighbourhood Watch.

Mr Caulfield said that co-ordinators provide a link between the police and the community, as well as giving peace of mind to vulnerable members of society.

"Increasing coverage by about 95 per cent is a real challenge," he said.

"The co-ordinators can play a key role in increasing awareness of the Message in a Bottle scheme, which can help save the lives of elderly people.

"Personal and medical details are kept in a bottle in the fridge and the emergency services know to look there to help them when dealing with an emergency.

"Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators can spread the word in their community and find people who don't know about the scheme and inform them."

Alan Johnson, a member of the steering group responsible for schemes in Great Dunmow, said: "Schemes have always been set up in isolation from each other and then left to get on with it.

"It is imperative that we bring them together to work as a team if Neighbourhood Watch in the town is to survive and grow.

"There is a lot of work to do and a lot of challenges ahead but, with the support of the townsfolk, I am convinced that total coverage is achievable."

A recruitment drive is being held at the Foakes Hall on Tuesday, October 3 at 7.30pm and existing co-ordinators, police and Town Mayor Frank Silver will be attending.

For more information, contact Peter Caulfield on 01376 556233.

Latest from the Dunmow Broadcast