Call to help combat crime

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Local communities are being persuaded by Lisburn and Castlereagh Police to set up Neighbourhood Watch Schemes to help combat crime.

The police are working in partnership with Lisburn and Castlereagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership and they have already seen a number of schemes up and running.

District Commander, Superintendent Sean Wright spoke of the benefits of being a member of a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.

He said: “Anyone can belong to a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and play a part in its achievements. A scheme can cover just one street or part or all of an estate and requires a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator.

“The Coordinator acts as a link between the community and local police and they are the first point of contact for all members of the scheme and receive and distribute information.

“Neighbourhood Watch raises awareness of crime, keeps communities informed and encourages local residents to report activity in their neighbourhood which is suspicious or disruptive.

“We have seen how successful we can be when we work in partnership with the community and I would encourage any member of the public who is interested in working with us to reduce crime in their area to contact us. Anyone who is interested in the role of NHW Coordinator can also contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101.”

Councillor Scott Carson, Chairman of the Lisburn and Castlereagh PCSP added: “It is very important that local communities come together and form effective Neighbourhood Watch Schemes to look out for each other’s property.

“Sadly there has been an increase in opportunistic burglaries in the Council area and we all need to work together to combat this. I would urge all residents to keep their property secure at all times for their own peace of mind, be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to your Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator.”